Research from the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) in conjunction with HR.com has found that 60 per cent of 382 companies surveyed have a career development program in place and 41 per cent use in-house coaches and/or mentors.
The "Career Development Practitioner Consensus Survey" also suggests that employees interested in this form of support are more likely to encounter it working in the "rich and diverse villages" of large corporations.
Jay Jamrog, senior vice president of research at i4cp said:
"We asked about career development outside of skill-based training and found that this kind of thing is a community effort. By far the most common type of development programs are mentoring and coaching. People aren't relying on trainers. They're relying on one another, tapping into each other's experience and expertise, especially in larger corporations."
The survey found that use of coaching/mentoring programs increases with company size with 48 per cent of companies with fewer than 500 employees, 58 per cent with 3000 to 5000 employees, and 65 per cent of those with 10 000 or more employees providing career development in this way. In addition, 80 per cent of companies that presently do not have such programs plan to introduce one within the next two years.
Jay Jamrog commented:
"There are a couple of possible reasons for this. First, a lot of companies are complaining about talent and leadership shortages, and these programs are one of the best ways of addressing those shortages. Second, younger employees attach a great amount of value to these kinds of programs. If they don't feel they're getting anywhere or learning anything, they'll just leave. So these are retention as well as development programs."
The survey also showed that 53 per cent of companies select career development candidates by manager referral although a number combine this approach with employee self-selection. The majority of companies (76 per cent) integrate their programs with talent management goals, and 81 per cent report that career development is integrated with business objectives.
Jay Jamrog concluded:
"That just shows good sense. Development is as important for the organization as a whole as it is for the careers of individuals."