IN TODAY'S COMPETITIVE CLIMATE, INTEGRATED CAREER DEVELOPMENT SYSTEMS ARE ESSENTIAL TO ORGANIZATIONAL EFFECTIVENESS.
Far-reaching economic and societal changes are transforming the developmental needs of people and organizations. Ongoing organizational restructuring has become a permanent feature of the corporate landscape. Employers no longer imply the promise of job security in return for employee loyalty. Instead, more employers offer opportunities for development and continuous learning in return for high performance and productivity during an employee's tenure.
The demographics and expectations of the U.S. workforce are changing, as well. The workforce is increasingly diverse and increasingly concerned with striking a better balance between work and home life. The post-baby-boom generation is largely uninterested in promotion at any cost; today's "new-values worker" tends to prize family and leisure time at least as much as work.
Fierce global competition has prompted a major commitment of energy and resources to total-quality management. TQM's emphasis on customer service and continuous improvement also has led to the increasing empowerment of employees, who must be able to make decisions, troubleshoot, and take responsibility quickly and flexibly. Effective quality initiatives require a new set of competencies for both managers and employees.
All of these changes make organizational support for career development systems and processes imperative. Where can organizations start? As the field of career development has matured, it has spawned a wide array of tools and techniques for organizations to draw on. But our research indicates that most HRD practitioners consider isolated interventions far less effective than a systems approach to career development.
We recently surveyed 1,000 large U.S. …