1. What do you think are the main strengths of UPS’ career development program The main strengths of UPS’ career development program are: The alignment of the employee’s career goals with those of business goals. – Annually, each employee meets with his/her manager to identify the employee’s career goal and his/her strengths. Together, the employee and manager device what skills are needed for advancement. immediate, midterm and future goals are set to lay the foundation for future development.
The use of a combination of training and development methods. – UPS implements classroom training programs, online Internet career centers, and mentoring programs from managers.
Routine monitoring of employee progress. – UPS conducts employee reviews and implements 360-degree reports to track improvement.
Manager involvement. – Aside from managers involved in mentoring programs, UPS’ managers keep an open-door policy to keep communication lines open between employee and manager, which both supports and enhances the career development program.
Celebration of success. – Since the objective of career development is employee career advancement, promotions are announced throughout the country to celebrate career development successes.
Company commitment to employee career development. – UPS spends $300 million annually for its career development programs, as well as mandates the involvement of its managers to help ensure program success.
2. What are the key outcomes that UPS wants to achieve
The key outcomes that UPS wants to achieve with its career development program are the following:
Employee self-knowledge – The program allows the employee to have his/her personal self-concept, be able to identify strengths, career goals and areas needing improvement in order to reach the goals.
Attainment of new skills for advancement – Through the various methods of program delivery, such as classroom, online or manager mentoring, the employee is expected to attain the skills necessary for advancement.
Career advancement – With the career development program and support mechanisms such as manager involvement and routine monitoring of progress, career advancement is expected. Upon achievement of actual advancement or job promotion, this development is celebrated by the entire organization as a testimony to the success of the program.
3. What suggestions do you have for improving the program
According to Gutteridge (1986, p. 52), career development refers to the developments in an individual’s career both from the individual and the organization’s viewpoints. This includes the organization’s objective of finding the best match between people and jobs and the individual’s objectives which range from job flexibility to monetary rewards. According to Slavenski amp. Buckner (1988), the need for career development arises from factors such as the need to identify and forecast personnel needs, social and demographic trends, the changing nature of work, changing types of jobs, equity and a multicultural work force, worker productivity, technological change and decreasing advancement opportunities, and organizational philosophies.
Related to the foregoing, some suggested improvements to UPS program are the following:
Announcement of vacant higher-up positions for application or consideration of existing employees, instead of external hiring. This would allow existing employees to set their sites on such positions if these form part of their career goals.
Rewards for training accomplishment. To further encourage training participation and taking the program seriously, rewards may be instituted for good performers during training. This does not have to be monetary. It may simply consist of public recognition or commendation within the organization.
Succession planning and mentoring. Since UPS expects their current employees to advance because of their career development program, it would also be beneficial if current employees are involved in mentoring those below them in the organizational set-up, such a new employees or junior employees.
Work Life Balance. There is no doubt that career driven employees would be beneficial to the organization, however, there may be need for work life balance as employees advance into more demanding careers. Work life balance would be a good program for such employees to undergo to be able to balance career and personal life for mutually beneficial results to the individual and the organization.
Changing nature of work environment. Support programs may also need to be implemented due to the changing nature of the work environment as it relates to a multicultural workforce, women in the workplace and technological developments.
Gutteridge, T. G. (1986). Organizational career development systems: The state of the practice. In Career Development in Organizations, edited by D. T. Hall. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
Slavenski, L., and Buckner, M. (1988). Career development programs in the workplace. Information Series No. 333. Columbus: ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education, Center on Education and Training for Employment, The Ohio State University.