The Next Evolution in Career Management


Posted by Melissa Cavanaugh on August 27, 2018.

I recently had the opportunity to present Deloitte’s 2018 Global Human Capital Trends findings to a Bersin member’s global talent team. Each year, the Trends report reveals what ideas are top of mind for more than 11,000 respondents worldwide, and it’s always interesting to suss out a particular organization’s pain points—and perceived opportunities—according to which trends resonate most.

In this case, the trend that generated the liveliest discussion was “From careers to experiences.” This section reports that 72 percent of respondents said career paths at their organization are not based on organizational hierarchy—yet only 18 percent feel they give employees the ability to actively develop themselves and chart new pathways for their careers. That’s hardly surprising, given that enabling employee development requires fundamental changes to learning, work architecture, and performance management.

This talent team had already worked to enhance employee experience and had created a strong culture of self-sufficiency among employees in terms of owning the direction of their careers. As they reflected on where to focus next, the team realized the need to define the experiences that could help employees grow—such as startups, turnarounds, and large project transformations—and determine how to ensure that employees get exposure to those opportunities.

According to the Trends report, some companies are already taking this approach (see graphic below). Bersin’s High-Impact Learning Organization research also finds that 81 percent of surveyed companies with the most mature learning organizations use stretch assignments, compared to just 32 percent of those at the lowest level of maturity. Many organizations are still trying to determine the best way to develop their employees.


Source: Deloitte Consulting LLP and Deloitte Insights, 2018.

But as the 2018 Trends report notes, other companies have made progress. Companies like Shell are transforming their careers and learning capabilities into interactive digital experiences that use both AR and VR to accelerate knowledge and augment the job experience. Shell is also responding to the increased pace of change by emphasizing experiences early in employees’ careers. “We cannot foresee what campus hires will be doing five years from now, but we do know we will always need the best talent for our business, so we are focused on accelerating development to innovate, collaborate, and make a business impact” says Jorrit van der Togt, Shell Executive Vice President, HR Strategy and Learning.

The evolution from careers to experiences is likely to continue as the pace of change and level of disruption increase across industries. Where does your organization fall within the spectrum of rigid hierarchies to autonomous pathways?

Are you interested in learning more about career management? Bersin members can view our Career Management Framework, which covers the key practices, types of information, and concepts that organizations should apply when planning a career management strategy.

Melissa CavanaughMelissa Cavanaugh, leads the BersinTM Insights organization, ensuring that our research-driven insights help members navigate what’s important now, understand what will matter next, and ensure that HR strategy has a business impact. Melissa brings to this role more than 20 years in thought leadership, research, and content strategy. Most recently, she was senior director of content and thought leadership at financial services firm TIAA, where she built research-based financial education and engagement programs. Prior to joining TIAA, she held a number of roles at Booz Allen Hamilton and Booz & Company, building thought leadership programs in various geographies. Melissa has a Bachelor of Art’s degree in English from Franklin & Marshall College.

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