Does Your Organization Empower Ambitious Staff?

Randstadt has released some staggering statistics about the current state of play in the employment market. In their 2012 Employment survey they discovered that a massive 86% of staff that are quitting their jobs are doing so because there are insufficient progress opportunities within the business. As well as this, there is further compelling research in the form of the Career Engagement Group 2012 Career Agility and Engagement Report which shows that in these economically challenging times, employee's career development expectations are getting higher.

The report termed this new trend, 'Career Agility' and it was characterized by three attitudes in staff. These were that: 31% of employees want to fast-track their careers, 35% would relish more responsibility and 75% would have prepared to use their own time for additional learning.

These statistics represent a clear call to action for the HR profession and a massive opportunity for the learning and development function to make a real impact on employee retention within their business, at a time when such a high percentage of staff could be considered a 'flight risk '. Obviously, losing talent is a concern.

So, what can the L & D function do to provide career agility and at the same time increase staff retention levels within their business?

Well, there are four ways that L & D can help ensure their company has the appropriate career agility to support and engage career agile staff.

1. Develop a competency development road-map so employees know the exact skills that they must acquire in order to move up the career ladder. Show them what they need to do to excel, and watch their motivation grow, and their satisfaction increase once they achieve their milestones.

2. Ensure that the appropriate DIY self assessment tools are available which allow employees to analyze their own strengths and areas for development. These tools are useful and can go a long way towards an employee acknowledging what he needs to work on.

3. Develop an internal mentoring program so employees can learn from mentors as needed. Remember, guidance is critical so facilitate their progress with those who have been there before.

4. Develop a career toolkit which employees can use and which shows career pathways, training opportunities, e-learning resources, stretch assignment opportunities, secondments, vacancies etc.

By making these four interventions, the L & D function can build a career agile organization which will motivate, engage and retain the modern career agile staff member. …

Educational Competitions – Science Fairs

Science competitions are a great way for your students to apply the abstract lessons they learn in the classroom. Not only will they be able to give real-world application to those ideas, but science competitions are also a great way to learn team building, communication and teamwork. Whether you are working with students that need to be additionally challenged to push themselves or students that need an extra bit of encouragement to try harder in the classroom, science competitions can be great motivators.

There are many competitions for your students to get involved in. You can host your own event at your school, or encourage your students to apply for local, regional or even national competitions. The most famous national science competitions are hosted by the US Department of Energy, ExploraVision, and Siemens, and often offer lucrative scholarships for the winning teams.

The Department of Education’s Science Bowl is not only a traditional science fair but a competition similar to quiz bowl, as well. High School and Middle School students are asked questions from every area of science. In addition to the “Jeopardy” section there is a model fuel-cell car competition. This Science Bowl is the only national competition sponsored by a government agency.

ExploraVision and Siemens competitions are for students K-12 in the US and Canada. They are run as the science fair you are familiar with; teams competing against each other for US bonds and scholarships. Recently, ExploraVision has been more about inventions and Siemens has leaned towards green improvements and ideas.…