July 27, 2023

Why Career Development is Critical for a Resilient Workforce

Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace: 2023 Report found that “51% of currently employed workers said they are watching for or actively seeking a new job.” Employees are looking for increased pay, improved wellbeing, and opportunities to grow and develop. Employers have the chance to stay ahead of the curve and invest in their employees' development. This includes providing opportunities for career development and internal mobility. The 2023 Workplace Learning Report from LinkedIn provides insights in how to support your employees in this journey. 

Career development is the process of helping employees identify their skills and interests, and then assisting them in developing the skills they need to achieve their career goals. This can be done through a variety of methods, such as training, mentoring, and job rotations. 

Employee internal mobility refers to moving from one role within a company to another. This can be an excellent opportunity for employees to learn new skills, gain new experiences, and advance in their careers. 

Both career development and internal mobility are important for creating an engaged and resilient workforce. Engaged employees are more productive, more creative, and more likely to stay with their company. Resilient employees are better able to adapt to change and overcome challenges.


Career Development and Mobility 

Here are some ways that businesses can create opportunities for career development and internal mobility: 

  • Provide training and development opportunities. This could include formal training programs, on-the-job training, or mentoring. 
  • Create career development plans for employees. This will help employees identify their skills and interests, and then develop a plan to achieve their career goals. 
  • Promote internal mobility. This could be done by creating a culture of open communication, providing opportunities for employees to shadow other employees, or offering job rotations. 75% of employees are more likely to stay when they have made an internal move, compared to 56% who have not. 

When looking at 18 to 34-year-olds in the workforce, the report notes that when they are considering a new job opportunity, 35% are looking for opportunities for career growth within the company and 31% are looking for opportunities to learn and develop new skills. Yet only 15% of employees were encouraged to move into a new role in their company and 26% say their organization challenged them to learn a new skill. So, by investing in their employees' development, businesses can create a more engaged and resilient workforce. This will lead to increased productivity, creativity, and innovation. According to Zippia, companies with comprehensive training programs have a 24% higher profit margin.


Engagement and Resilience 

Innovative ways to establish and maintain an engaged and resilient workforce include: 

  • Create a culture of learning. Encourage employees to take ownership of their own development and to continue learning throughout their careers. 
  • Provide opportunities for feedback. Employees need to know how they are doing in order to improve. Provide regular feedback on their performance, both positive and negative. 
  • Celebrate successes. When employees achieve their goals, be sure to celebrate their success. This will help motivate them to continue learning and growing. 

Microsoft, for example, fosters a learning culture, or as Satya Nadella refers to it, a "growth culture," by rewarding employees with a growth mindset and leaning toward being a company of "learn-it-alls." They have an internal communications plan that includes a CEO Connection page for networking and a "Daily Pulse," a series of surveys to capture how people are feeling. They also celebrate success through professional development and team-building activities that allow teams to bond. 

By following these tips, businesses can create a workplace where employees are engaged, motivated, and productive. 

Headshot of Celena Westlund

Celena Westlund

Senior Marketing Manager for Business and Government

Westlund joined Anthology in 2021, bringing nearly 11 years of government and marketing experience, including over 7 years at the U.S. Institute of Peace and 3.5 years at a MarTech company. In her role at Anthology, she works to create awareness and demand for our EdTech solutions in federal, state, and local governments, and within corporate entities. Westlund graduated from Washington State University with an M.A. in strategic communication and previously earned an M.A. from American University in international peace and conflict resolution, with a focus on conflict in the Southern Balkans.