Skills and Learning

• Rather than resisting increasing mobility, HR can help by developing relationships and joint ventures within the mobile workforce. These include employees, contractors, interim managers, consultants and employment agencies.

• A major challenge for HR managers will be to transfer the valuable skills and learning of new employees, so that they become part of the organisation’s culture and strategy.

• Managing career management interventions may mean doing a few things well, rather than a wide range of initiatives, including creating exciting and innovative career tracks which keep knowledge workers motivated. Line managers need to be trained to play their part in the career partnership. This is about coaching and being prepared to engage with employees’ career concerns.

• There needs to be a focus on helping people achieve their career aspirations. Line managers will need incentives and support, such as smaller areas of responsibility, to allow them to help people with their development as well as performance.

• Senior managers in particular need to take an active lead in this area. They should identify the talented people, whatever age and wherever they are based in the organisation. HR practices should be changed to reward tenure, so that those with potential to reach the top can develop the relevant core skills, flexibility and breadth of experience.

• Moving people around in the organisation should create both vertical and horizontal openings. Horizontal moves will keep staff learning and interested even if there are no openings at higher levels.

• Looking ahead, organisations and careers must remain mutually supportive. This means viewing employees and contractors as partners in a joint venture, rather than as human resources to be managed.

• For all concerned, the new career should be recognised as a do-it-yourself phenomenon. The smartest organisations are likely to be those which offer a real and meaningful opportunity for a long-term career partnership with talented individuals.

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