A global healthcare solutions firm learns that career development does not equate a vertical climb.
The following story was shared by Lynn Gauthier, vice president of HR at Philips Healthcare, Patient Care and Clinical Informatics Business Group.
Philips, a global medical device and medical information technology business
Philips’s Patient Care and Clinical Informatics (PCCI) Business Group wanted to improve the engagement of its 5,000 employees, as determined by its annual employee engagement assessment.
PCCI’s leaders hypothesized that focusing on employee and career development would improve engagement, and subsequently increase retention. However, they realized that PCCI didn’t have the systems or culture in place to drive such growth: A development program (beyond the performance management process) did not exist; managers were ill equipped to conduct meaningful career conversations; and employees did not have the necessary tools to manage their own careers, thereby defaulting to the organization to design career paths. PCCI envisioned a program that would shift the current paradigm and teach employees that they owned their careers, while giving them appropriate resources to manage their development.
PCCI created a 90-day career enhancement program in partnership with Career Systems International (CSI). The program contains four major components: manager and employee workshops, career coaching, 360-degree assessments, and career learning labs. The manager workshop trains managers to engage in career discussions and effectively support their employees. In the employee workshop, individuals examine their skills, interests, and values, while mapping out a plan to reach their career goals.
Following the workshops, employees meet one-on-one with a career adviser (a CSI-certified PCCI HR professional) to discuss their career plans. Using CSI’s career leverage inventory, employees focus their development on one of the following options: vertical move, lateral move, realignment (moving down), relocation (moving out of the company), enrichment (growing in place), or exploratory (investigating possibilities). Each employee takes a 360-degree assessment to better understand his reputation within the company.
Next, small peer groups participate in two 90-minute learning labs facilitated by career advisers. Individuals create a detailed and robust career development plan (from one to five years in duration) to which they apply key program takeaways. Finally, employees are encouraged to initiate several meetings with their managers to review what they’re learning from the experience and ask for feedback as needed.
January marked the program’s sixth month, with more than 300 participants. Feedback is wildly positive, and employees have acted on their aspirations by taking new jobs and roles. The program also has increased employee engagement scores and cultivated a robust career development culture within PCCI.
There is a widely held perception that career development means “up”—a vertical move. However, 95 percent of PCCI employees selected enrichment as their career option. If you give employees the appropriate tools and support, they will begin doing new and creative things within their current positions without wanting to make a career move.