What is Assessment Phase
The assessment phase of career development comprises activities starting from self assessment to organizational assessment provided by the organizations. The aim of assessment, whether performed by employees or by the organization, is to find out employees’ strengths and weaknesses. The kind of clarification helps employees to:
- Choose a career that is realistically obtainable and a good fit and
- Determine the weaknesses they need to overcome to achieve their career goals.
In career development self assessment is increasingly important for companies that want to empower their employees to take control of their careers. The major tools used for self assessment are workbooks and workshops.
Career Workbooks have been very popular for decades. Generic workbooks gained in popularity in the 1980s. In addition to the exercises included in a generic career workbook, tailored workbooks might contain a statement of the organization’s policies and procedures regarding career issues as well as descriptions of the career paths and options available in the organization.
Career Planning Workshops
Career Planning Workshops which may be led either by the company’s HR department or by an external provider such as a consulting firm or local university, give employees information about career options in the organization. They may also be used to provide participants with feedback on their career aspirations and strategy. Participation in most workshops is voluntary, and some organizations hold these workshops on company time to demonstrate their commitment to their workforce.
Tools used by organizations to make organizational assessment include: assessment centers, psychological testing, performance appraisal, promotability forecasts and succession planning.
Assessment Centers are situational exercises such as interviews, in-basket exercises, and business games that are often used for selection, companies are increasingly using them as a developmental tool. Assessment centers provide participants with feedback on their strengths and weaknesses as uncovered in the exercises. This feedback increases employees’ understanding of their skills and helps them develop realistic career goals and plans.
Psychological Testings are used by some organizations to better understand employees’ skills and interests. Tests that measure personality and attitudes, as well as interest inventories, fall into this category.
Performance Appraisal is another source of valuable career development information. Future oriented performance appraisal can give employees important insights into their strengths, their weaknesses, and the paths available to them.
Promotability Forecasts are decisions made by managers regarding the advancement potential of their subordinates. These forecasts allow the organizations to identify people who appear to have high advancement potential.
Succession Planning focuses on preparing people to fill executive positions. Formally succession planning means examining development needs given a firm’s strategic plans. Informally it means high levels managers identifying and developing their own replacements. Most succession planning is informal. The employees identified as having upper-management potential may then be given developmental experiences that will help prepare them for executive ranks, such as workshops on the organization’s value and mission. Succession planning is one the trickiest challenges in the area of career development. Organizations have always been accused of discriminating against women and minorities when filling high-level positions. Rather than outright discrimination, it is usually the informality of much succession planning that makes company’s unwittingly exclude these groups as candidates.