I've heard the statement "an employee's development is the responsibility of the employee" quite frequently from leaders in my organization and across the company recently.  This seems to be a statement that front line managers pull out of their hats whenever they're asked to support the career development of employees (both in terms of educational funding or stretch projects).

Perhaps it's just in my organization, but it seems the role of management is now entirely focused on driving short term results.

Is anyone else hearing this type of response?  



Smacquarrie's picture

Sadly, yes.
It is now up to the employee to focus on their own development.
There is often something available if it will directly benefit the company with the employee in their current role but not always for future growth.
I am lucky enough to work for a company that is willing to assist with schooling for their employees but any coursework needs to lead to future opportunity, or develop them for their current role, before the company will pay. Even then it is only a portion of the total.

Many companies seem to be trying to encourage employees to be more involved in every aspect of their work life.
This is true with the tuition program (look at the total cost after the company helps out) and with medical coverage.
I believe this to be a cultural shift that employers are actively seeking.

cubedweller's picture

Sounds pretty similar to the changes we've been seeing.  I understand encouraging employees to be more involved with development planning, but putting development 100% on the employee seems to be taking all coaching & development expectations away from management.

I'm certainly willing to do as much as I can to develop myself (enrolled in an MBA program, taking advantage of any opportunities to take on additional tasks outside my current role, manager-tools...), but there are things I'm not able to do without management support/funding.  For instance, how can an employee gain supervisory experience or attend an industry conference without management assistance?

I wonder how much turnover will need to increase before we see a change in this mindset.

Smacquarrie's picture

I have some limited success with identifying those individuals who would be well suited for certain tasks and areas with getting them some experience and exposure.
Most of this I have been able to justify as job related training.
This is where we need to step as managers and help to direct their efforts in the right direction so that they can exhibit those skills and traits to earn that next promotion.
Too often though I have seen where someone needs to leave their current site (myself) or even the company to get the promotion to the next level.
As companies begin to realize how much they spend in training as a development site, I think that this will begin to change for some.
I just hope to be part of one off those companies that change in the future.