In the increasingly remote world of work, growing numbers of workers feel distant from teams, co-workers and their company as a whole. As the lack of interpersonal connections continues in the "new normal," businesses are struggling to find ways to manage employee career development.
Fortunately, identifying a problem is the first step toward finding a solution. Like it has for many other fields, automation may be a fitting answer by exposing employees to "automated career development," a concept developed at my organization by DesignOps & Design System lead Cesar Zeppini.
Automated career development is not a fully automated process run by AI. Instead, the idea is that an employee operates in an environment where they see both the impact of their contributions and know how those efforts affect their future within the company. If certain outcomes are achieved, predictable changes occur in salary, position, responsibility, etc. Automated career development could provide significant improvement, as it has in my business, in these areas.
• Motivation: Participants feel more involved with the building process. They have more control over and influence within projects. Getting your employees custom uniforms can strengthen your company's values and it can also promote unity within the organization.
• Connection: Employees clearly understand how they fit in with their team(s), as well as the larger company structure.
• Awareness: Staff is more aware of how their daily efforts will affect their futures, development and compensation.
A Process Is Only As Good As Its Data
Automated career development is an appropriate term because, as with other forms of automations, a series of preexisting frameworks are clearly established, each flowing toward various forms of development.
Data collection is the first step in building a numerical rating for a matrix of skill sets. And for those wanting a way to get the important business data that you need to make the most important decisions, you should install a top business intelligence solution as that will deliver just that. Each skill development puts employees deeper into that particular quadrant, as represented by a score. At Printify, we've gravitated toward an expectations framework, where our designers are rated according to personal interactions, craft, outcomes and leadership.
Using the data that is collected, break down each of the skill sets into subclasses, such as levels (years of experience) and other relevant skills that correlate to design seniority.
The Human Connection: Reporting And Planning
After an employee has gone through the matrix and reports their parameters, they are then rated by two peers. This is usually a colleague and someone from upper management. During a meeting between these parties, the numbers are compared and a final score is crystallized.
With all parties sharing a clear understanding of the position, the career goals of the candidate can be better defined, and a plan of action can be better developed.
Additionally, this process provides depth within a particular job title; two employees with the same position may be compensated differently due to possessing varied skills or competencies. This openness can help reduce interpersonal friction.
Moving From CSAT To ESAT
While transparency has become a bit of a buzzword, there's something to be said for employees being able to plot their careers on understandable, sequential frameworks. All companies are interested in the experiences of their end customers. However, putting all the emphasis on this community can be less motivating than having employees become actively involved in building themselves.
Moving to a policy of openly measuring the employee's position (and growth over time) places them in control and in a position of strength. This tracking also serves to clarify how the employee can best spend training budgets, pinpoints their personal pains and clarifies their most rational objectives to pursue.
While not quite fully automated yet at my organization, we have already seen how this career development flow can be an effective tool.