Unlock Employee Engagement: Empower Your Workforce to Own their Career Journey

TED KITTERMAN

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TED KITTERMAN

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How great companies help employees plan for their future careers within the organization.

It’s hard work to create a fair workplace.

For employees to believe that their workplace is fair, they have to understand what criteria are used for hiring, promotions, and project assignments. There has to be a clear rubric with carefully communicated expectations that underpin a talent management strategy. The process has to be transparent.

That means employers must have a clear framework that defines the career journey and role levels within the organization.

At American Express, the Career and Development Plan is available to all employees via its talent, learning, and performance management platform, “Navigator.” Employees have access to the plan at any time, beginning with their onboarding experience.

“When colleagues access the tool, they are prompted to reflect on their career journey, thinking through and sharing where they’ve been, how they want to grow, and what support they will need along the way,” says Sonia Cargan, SVP and chief talent officer at American Express.

After sharing their skills, experiences, and personal strengths with the tool, employees can export a one-page snapshot that functions as an internal résumé when meeting with leaders or mentors in the company.

“Colleagues own their development,” says Cargan, “but leaders play a meaningful and important role in their career journey.”

When an employee takes their snapshot to a coffee chat with their mentor, the tool helps that mentor have a more productive conversation about career goals and opportunities within the company.

At Bread Financial, the Career Navigator site is the tool that helps employees identify the next step in their careers. Their tool follows three Ls:

  • Learn. Resources help employees develop skills for their current role and for desired future roles.
  • Lean In. Opportunities that allow employees to have temporary placement or projects in other areas of the business to gain new skills.
  • Leap. Open full-time roles that employees can apply for.

It’s essential that these career tools serve the needs of both employees and their leaders, says Sam Anders, senior director, talent development for Bread Financial.

“For us, it was equally as important for leaders to understand the programs, so they could appropriately recommend [a program to] their team members as part of their development goals and needs,” she says.

Mastercard’s learning and development strategy strives to help employees own and navigate their careers. A tool called the “Development Card” is a crucial part of an integrated performance management and development process.

“While growth and development is an ongoing, continuous part of the employee experience, we set very intentional moments during the year for people leaders and employees to connect and have a formal conversation about growth and development aspirations,” says Lucrecia Borgonovo, chief talent and organizational effectiveness officer at Mastercard.

Every employee completes their Development Card by listing career aspirations, skills they would like to develop, and the resources they’ll use to make progress on their development goals.

“Employees are encouraged to seek out these opportunities by building a network, taking an active role in their development, and leveraging their people leader as a key partner in their development journey.”

While employees are empowered to take a lead role in their development journey, it is key that they discuss their card with their manager, making sure that their aspirations and responsibilities are aligned.

Lessons learned

How can leaders reshape their culture to help employees feel like they have control over their careers? Here’s a few top tips:

1. Collaboration is key

For American Express, redesigning its Career and Development Plan tool to incorporate feedback from colleagues across the business was an essential part of the process.

At Mastercard, a key lesson has been the value of meaningful and transparent conversations between managers and employees.

“We listen to our employees’ needs and then take very intentional action about our plans and approach,” says Borgonovo.

2. Encourage self-reflection

Whatever tools you adopt, there should be space for employees to explore their skills and career goals. Self-reflection ensures employees “truly understand what engages them most, what their drivers/motivators are, how they identify transferable skills that can move them successfully into new functions without experience, and what skill sets the business needs most,” says Anders.

That’s why Bread Financial’s Career Navigator tool comes with a digital workbook that prompts employees to explore what they really want from their career.

3. Prioritize listening and equip managers for success

At Mastercard, a key lesson has been the value of meaningful and transparent conversations between managers and employees. Seeking and giving feedback is a skill that is carefully developed and tied to their cultural value: “Help each other be great.”

“We listen to our employees’ and business leaders’ needs and then take very intentional action about our plans and approach,” says Borgonovo.

“We create space and bandwidth for employees to learnIf employees have too many tasks on their plate, they won’t participate in growth opportunities or learning programs.”

For Mastercard, giving employees space for their personal growth has meant:

  • Investing in flexible work to provide opportunities to work on projects across other parts of the business
  • Creating bandwidth for learning through quarterly meeting-free days, end-of-week flex time
  • Matching employees to relevant experiences (i.e. learning, open roles, mentoring, skill-based volunteering) via its AI-driven internal talent marketplace, Unlocked
  • Curating on-demand, targeted learning content via a variety of formats (courses, podcasts, articles, etc.)

4. Make your career development planning actionable

As you identify areas that employees can work on to further their growth, make sure you define how they will grow their skills with clear steps and goals.

It’s important for employees to update their career and development plans with both planned activities and timing with input from their manager, says Cargan.

“This helps paint a clear picture of what progress looks like so they can hold themselves accountable to key actions that enable growth.”

5. Prioritize psychological safety

Your workers must feel comfortable taking risks, and that they won’t be penalized for exploring new roles or projects. For Bread Financial, this means ensuring that employees who are exploring an apprenticeship or stretch role through the company’s development program know they can go back to their original role if the new one isn’t a fit.

Build a better workforce

Get started with Certification™ to get the data on how employees feel about their ability to grow and develop within your organization.

TED KITTERMAN

Ted Kitterman is a content manager for Great Place To Work®. Ted has experience covering the workplace, business communications, public relations, internal communications, work culture, employee well-being, brand purpose and more. His work shines a light on the unparalleled data and insights offered by Great Place to Work’s decades of research, helping the company share its vision of a great place to work For All™.

Great Place To Work identifies Best Workplaces in Asia™ by surveying 2.1 million employees in Asia and the Middle East about the key factors that create great workplaces for all and analyzing company workplace programs impacting 5.9 million employees in the region.

To be considered, companies must first be identified as outstanding in their local region by appearing on one or more of our Best Workplaces lists in Bahrain, Greater China (including China, Hong Kong and Taiwan), India, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, UAE, Vietnam during 2022 or early 2023.

Companies rank in three size categories: Small and Medium (10-499 employees); Large (500+); and Multinational. Multinational organizations are also assessed on their efforts to create great workplaces across multiple countries in the region. They must appear on at least two national lists in Asia and the Middle East and have at least 1,000 employees worldwide with at least 40% (or 5,000+) of those employees located outside the headquarters country.

Great Place To Work identifies Best Workplaces in Asia™ by surveying over 1 million employees in Asia and the Middle East about the key factors that create great workplaces for all and analyzing company workplace programs impacting over 4.7 million employees in the region.

To be considered, companies must first be identified as outstanding in their local region by appearing on one or more of our Best Workplaces lists in Greater China (including China, Hong Kong and Taiwan), India, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, UAE, Vietnam during 2021 or early 2022.

Companies rank in three size categories: Small and Medium (10-499 employees); Large (500+); and Multinational. Multinational organizations are also assessed on their efforts to create great workplaces across multiple countries in the region. They must appear on at least two national lists in Asia and the Middle East and have at least 1,000 employees worldwide with at least 40% (or 5,000) of those employees located outside the headquarters country.

Great Place To Work® Best Workplaces™ in Singapore 2023 Evaluation Methodology

This year, Great Place To Work® Singapore is proud to launch our inaugural Singapore Best Workplaces™ in Healthcare & Biopharma List. This list recognizes exemplary companies in the healthcare & biopharma industry.

Recognized as a global hub for medical technology and research, Singapore has attracted top healthcare and biopharma talents and companies from around the world. It has become the center for essential healthcare services and innovations with its world-class research institutes, academic medical centers, and industry clusters.

In turn, the healthcare and biopharma sectors play a critical role in the country’s economic competitiveness, sustainability, and innovation. These industries have significantly helped in the overall improvement of public health and well-being of the people of Singapore and its neighboring countries.

The inaugural Singapore Best Workplaces in Healthcare and Biopharma List puts the spotlight on the organizations that are dedicated to providing employee satisfaction and engagement, and their commitment to excellence in the industry.

The companies in our Great Place To Work Certified™ community have the premier distinction that helps attract the best talent, build your employer brand, and secure a competitive advantage. To achieve this, they built a working environment that is purpose-driven and people-first. These companies have demonstrated that showing authentic care, prioritizing employee’s holistic well-being, and building a culture of trust go hand in hand with growth and success.

To determine the 2023 Singapore’s Best Workplaces in Healthcare and Biopharma, Great Place to Work®️ analyzed confidential survey feedback representing nearly 12,000 employees working in the tech industry in Singapore.Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a Great Place to Work For All™️. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees say about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. Great Place to Work analyzes these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce make up, and what’s typical relative to their peers in the industry.The remaining 15 percent of the rank is based on an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of innovation, the company’s values, and the effectiveness of their leaders, to ensure they’re consistently experienced.To be considered, companies had to meet the Great Place to Work-Certified standard. To ensure survey results truly represent all employees, Great Place to Work requires that Trust Index©️ survey results are accurate to a 95% confidence level with a 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results. Companies with 10 to 99 people were considered for the small and medium category; companies with 100 employees or more were considered for the large category.

Great Place To Work® Best Workplaces™ in Singapore 2023 Evaluation Methodology

To determine the 2023 Singapore’s Best Workplaces in Technology, Great Place To Work®️ analyzed confidential survey feedback representing nearly 12,000 employees working in the tech industry in Singapore. Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a Great Place To Work For All™️. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees say about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. Great Place To Work analyzes these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce make up, and what’s typical relative to their peers in the industry. The remaining 15 percent of the rank is based on an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of innovation, the company’s values, and the effectiveness of their leaders, to ensure they’re consistently experienced. To be considered, companies had to meet the Great Place To Work-Certified standard. To ensure survey results truly represent all employees, Great Place To Work requires that Trust Index©️ survey results are accurate to a 95% confidence level with a 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results. Companies with 10 to 99 people were considered for the small and medium category; companies with 100 employees or more were considered for the large category.

Methodology

This year, Great Place To Work™ Singapore is proud to launch our inaugural Singapore Best Workplaces in Technology List. This List recognizes exemplary companies in the information and communication technologies industry in four categories:

  • Micro category (10–29 employees)
  • Small (30-99 employees)
  • Medium (100-999 employees)
  • Large (> 1000 employees)

With Singapore’s ambition to be recognized as a regional technology hub, the influx of technology firms (around 80 of the world’s top 100 technology firms have a presence here) and global rankings that place us a leading technology hub outside of San Francisco, the establishment of a Singapore Best Workplaces List in Technology is indeed a timely and needed one. Technology firms in Singapore are characterized by hyper-growth and ambitious expansion plans. This means a continuous war for talent in a highly competitive and rapidly evolving industry.

To maintain our lead as a technology and innovation hub, the ability to attract, retain and sustain skilled talent is critical. We are proud that companies in our Great Place To Work®-Certified community List have built a high-trust culture, engaged employees and maximized their potential to facilitate innovation. They are purpose-driven and adopt a people-first mindset. These are companies that have shown that authentic care and employee well-being need not be compromised for ambitious growth, and that it is possible for businesses to scale up quickly and responsibly. Their culture and core values are embodied in every individual—from senior leadership to rank-and-file employees—and differentiate them from their competitors, priming them to be powerful magnets for top talent.

To determine the 2022 Singapore’s Best Workplaces in Technology, Great Place To Work®️ analyzed confidential survey feedback representing nearly 12,000 employees working in the tech industry in Singapore.Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a Great Place To Work For All™️. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees say about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. Great Place To Work analyzes these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce make up, and what’s typical relative to their peers in the industry.The remaining 15 percent of the rank is based on an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of innovation, the company’s values, and the effectiveness of their leaders, to ensure they’re consistently experienced. To be considered, companies had to meet the Great Place To Work-Certified standard. To ensure survey results truly represent all employees, Great Place To Work requires that Trust Index©️ survey results are accurate to a 95% confidence level with a 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results. Companies with 10 to 99 people were considered for the small and medium category; companies with 100 employees or more were considered for the large category

 

Methodology

To determine the 2022 Singapore’s Best Workplaces™️, Great Place To Work®️ analyzed confidential survey feedback representing close to 70,000 employees across different industries in Singapore. Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a Great Place to Work For All™️. 85% of the evaluation is based on what employees say about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do.

Great Place To Work analyzes these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce make up, and what’s typical in their industry. The remaining 15% of the rank is based on an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of innovation, the company’s values, and the effectiveness of their leaders, to ensure they’re consistently experienced. To be considered, companies had to meet the Great Place To Work Certified standard. To ensure survey results truly represent all employees, Great Place To Work requires that Trust Index©️ survey results are accurate to a 95% confidence level with a 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results.

Companies with 10-29 people were considered for the Micro category; those with 30 to 99 people for the Small category; companies with 100 to 999 employees were considered for the Medium category; and those with 1,000 or more for the Large category.

Great Place To Work® Best Workplaces™ in Singapore 2023 Evaluation Methodology

To determine the 2023 Singapore’s Best Workplaces in Technology, Great Place To Work®️ analyzed confidential survey feedback representing nearly 12,000 employees working in the tech industry in Singapore. Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a Great Place To Work For All™️. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees say about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. Great Place To Work analyzes these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce make up, and what’s typical relative to their peers in the industry. The remaining 15 percent of the rank is based on an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of innovation, the company’s values, and the effectiveness of their leaders, to ensure they’re consistently experienced. To be considered, companies had to meet the Great Place To Work-Certified standard. To ensure survey results truly represent all employees, Great Place To Work requires that Trust Index©️ survey results are accurate to a 95% confidence level with a 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results. Companies with 10 to 99 people were considered for the small and medium category; companies with 100 employees or more were considered for the large category