We’re continuing an earlier conversation about career development. A common career development practice is to create a physical place for one-stop career support. Often developed in the context of a library-like setting, these centers provide key people who can offer support in helping employees find the resources they need. Companies such as Advanced Micro Devices, IBM, and Motorola, to name a few, have set up internal career centers where employees can come for self-assessment. Services may include computerized programs that incorporate 360-degree feedback, competency assessment, confidential counseling, career management and resilience training, lunch-and-learn events, and information, frequently through the intranet, about internal opportunities.
Disney has established numerous learning centers or Centers of Excellence (one at every major worksite on property with names like “The Mouse Pad”) that provides a wide variety of career development tools (books, periodicals, videos, online learning, intranet classes and tools, etc.) that include ways to “link back” to their operations by creating forms to share with their leader to help guide the development process.
In our work with Federal Student Aid (FSA), we developed a Career Zone, conceived as a means for providing FSA employees with easy access to high-quality and responsive career development and learning services. Co-sponsored by FSA University and FSA’s Human Resources group, it is designed to stay attuned to employees’ ongoing learning needs and to be able to respond quickly to meet those needs. The FSA Career Zone created its own track of programming based on input from FSA employees so its programs are popular. The FSA Career Zone also now offers the services of a professional career counselor to assist employees as they make their own career transitions.
There is something powerful in having a physical location where employees can go to improve their skills, and to identify ways to further their career development. World-Class Organizations provide career centers not only to help their workforce improve, but to help them better face competition.