How to Modernize Employee Career Development

Current State

Companies are prioritizing career development efforts in 2024 as evidenced by the 91% of respondents to Brandon Hall Group2024 HCM Outlook Study indicating moderate to heavy investment in career development for this year.


Career development efforts are being impacted by the rapidly evolving nature of work and the general lag of organizations in defining the skills needed by the workforce. Companies also struggle to define a path for employees to obtain those skills and how that all relates to their long term employability with the company.


Overcoming the barriers to modernizing career development will have consequences that go beyond simply not having more skilled workers. The organizations that open up these opportunities will become more agile and thus able to deal with a more complex, volatile external world. Employees will understand their place in the organizational culture and community and will become coaches for the next generation of hires. The entire organization will grow from having a more skilled and mobile workforce — one that is able to see and select their own path and have that path supported the entire way in their organization.

Critical Questions

To improve your organization’s ability to overcome the barriers to skill development and mobility of your workforce, you need to determine what people, processes and technology you have in place to help you grow. Organizations should look at their capabilities (and true desire) to overcome those barriers and ask themselves the following questions:

  1. What technology exists within the organization to help overcome existing barriers to employee skill development and mobility?
  2. Who is accountable for maintaining and improving employee capabilities and internal movement?
  3. Which metrics are most useful when determining the effectiveness of employee skill development practices to prove the ROI of these activities?
  4. What resources, in terms of time and budget, can be allocated to improving employee skill development and mobility?

Brandon Hall GroupPOV

Be transparent with career pathing

Too many organizations are not curious enough about the advanced technologies that can help them hire, develop and retain the top talent they need to thrive. Budget constraints don’t prohibit talent leaders from getting educated so they can make a compelling business case when the time arises.

Create more opportunities for coaching, mentoring and peer-to-peer feedback

Coaching and mentoring have emerged as critical tools to improve individual and organizational performance. Organizations see better business results where coaching and mentoring are valued and encouraged and practiced from the top leadership on down, according to Brandon Hall Groupresearch.

Encourage participation on teams by creating cross-functional assignments

Encourage cross-functional and cross-divisional interactions with existing employees. This is especially important for remote/hybrid workers. This helps engage current employees and establish communities but also encourages mobility by showing jobs and career opportunities that some employees may have been unaware of.

Leverage technology to help create skill development plans that are personalized and encourage career growth

Not everyone approaches their own development the same way. To maximize participation in skill development and mobility, make sure your skill development plans are personalized for different types of employees: some prefer learning informally from peers at their own pace, others prefer a rigid and fixed schedule, etc. In order to create personalization at scale, you will need an AI-powered technology solution that has the ability to provide multiple options for employees to choose from, which should be factored into your technology selection process.

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Matt Pittman



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Matt Pittman

Matt Pittman brings nearly 30 years of experience developing people and teams in a variety of settings and organizations. As an HR Practitioner, he has sat in nearly every seat including Learning and Leadership Development, Talent Management and Succession Planning, Talent Acquisition and as a Human Resources Business Partner. A significant part of those roles involved building out functions in organizations and driving large scale change efforts. As a Principal Analyst, Matt leverages this in-depth experience and expertise to provide clients and providers with breakthrough insights and ideas to drive their business forward.

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