Is Career Development Important?

Office full of people on laptops and looking at a whiteboardCareer development is the ability to grow and advance in one’s workplace. We’re seeing a growing trend where more and more employees are treating it as a key sticking point when making decisions about their futures. The opportunities to face new challenges at work, earn promotions, or work in different departments are ones that employees want to have available. In order to understand how career development relates to you, let us dive deeper into why it’s important and how you can begin implementing it.

Why is career development important?

Your workers want to be challenged in diverse ways. This can come through a promotion, a chance to work in or with a different department, or access to different types of projects. Besides just bringing a refreshing change to the workplace, career development helps to foster a meritocracy. Your workers want to feel rewarded for good work. When they know that pathways for development exist, a natural and healthy incentive to produce is created. Based on research conducted by Work Institute, “One out of every five employees who chose to accept a new job with a different employer in 2019, was because of career development concerns.” A figure that has increased by 17% since 2013. If your workers are leaving, you want to do whatever you can to solve that. Retention is important. Not only is onboarding expensive, but it’s difficult to create a healthy work environment if you have a high turnover rate. If career development opportunities can help such a large number of employees commit to your organization, then making those changes is an easy decision.

How to implement career development

group of people dressed in business casual, standing in a white roomFirstly, talk to your employees and the heads of your departments. Find out what types of changes they want to see and go from there. This can come in the form of an anonymous survey, a meeting, or a casual conversation. You do not have to follow everything that they say. Still, it will give you a strong gauge of what the different feelings are. You’ll likely hear feedback covering how employees want to be challenged in new ways.

A simple way to start that process is by adding trainings to increase worker knowledge. This can introduce them to skills needed in different departments, or simply keep them up to date with trends in their own department. You should also look to make the job openings more flexible. Allow employees to apply for jobs within your organization. This can be a promotion, rewarding good work from good employees, or a sideways transition for those who want a different challenge without leaving your company.

Making some of these changes are great, but don’t stop there. Make career development a consistent part of your workflow. Keep leadership open to feedback, so that you are in sync with the moods of the workplace. Encourage employees to buy-in to the company vision and how they can help achieve it. And do your part in ensuring they have the support they need at all times.


Career development is important. It helps employees stay motivated and reduces turnover, saving money and resources overall. Employees want to be challenged and feel like their work is rewarded. Therefore, make sure to:

  • Engage in dialogue at all levels of your organization.
  • Help everyone feel heard and supported.
  • Provide trainings and resources for new challenges.
  • Make pathways for employees to move upward or even sideways within the company.

Taking these steps to enhance career development can go a long way in boosting your organization’s morale and results.

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