by Lia Marus
Recently, I interviewed a number of HR managers in the IT industry and asked them what attracts people to work for their companies. Most of them said, without a shadow of a doubt, that their career planning initiatives are their competitive advantage. However, no matter how good the career planning schemes that a company offers are, if a candidate will succeed in his or her chosen career will depend on their attibility.
Success in your career means different things to different people. For some, it means getting the corner office and the six-figure salary while for others it could mean earning enough money to be able to afford monthly bond repayments and education for their children. André Grobler, in his book Attibility: Attitude and Ability, says “If we treat ‘getting ahead’ as a journey more than a destination we can spend more of our daily energy doing the things we need to do to simply get ahead. Success is more about achieving what matters to us than what matters to others. Success can only be ascribed to achieving your personal goals.”
Get your employees to find out what matters to them most
To see that your employees get the most out of your career planning programme, encourage them to get to know themselves and what they want most out of their careers.
Grobler talks about a tool, called the ‘Johari Window’, which will help them do this. This window is a matrix that employees can use to become more self-aware and develop personally. Says Alan Chapman*: “The Johari Window actually represents information – feelings, experience, views, attitudes, skills, intentions, motivation, etc. – within or about a person – in relation to their group, from four perspectives.” These four perspectives are:
- The public self: The part of ourselves which we show to the outside world,
- The unconscious self: The part of ourselves that we don’t know about but others do,
- The hidden self: The part of ourselves which we hide from others but we know about, and
- What we don’t know about ourselves and others don’t know about us.
Each of the areas of this matrix will contain information about the particular person which will show you what is important to a particular employee.
Attitude and ability work hand in hand
If you don’t have the right attitude towards something, you can have all the ability in the world but you won’t be successful in your endeavours. The reverse is true: you can have all the positive, can-do attitude in the world but if you don’t have the ability to do something, you won’t be able to achieve it.
This is very true of career planning as well.
You have to see where your employees’ abilities lie and then encourage them to have the right attitude about using their abilities. But remember that all the encouragement in the world won’t make them be successful at something they just don’t have the ability to do.
* (Alan Chapman 1995-2006 adaptation, review and code based on Ingham and Luft’s original johari window concept)
This article first appeared on HR Pulse