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Motivation by Career Development: Part II

By: James M. Wilmott
Posted: September 5, 2008, from the September 2006 issue of GCI Magazine.

The expectations for various positions within an organization typically are affected by three factors: productivity, influence and job knowledge. Productivity refers to one’s proficiency at completing tasks in a timely, high-quality manner. With progression up the departmental ladder, employees should be expected to handle, in a quality manner, more tasks with ever-increasing levels of difficulty.

Influence and Job Knowledge

Influence is another critical factor in establishing a successful career development program. Again, a progression of the level of influence must be included with advancement in the corporation. The expansion of influence is likely to evolve as follows: dependent, intradepartmental, interdepartmental, consultant, extra-corporate.

As individuals grow on the job, they will have increasing influence within the department. This influence will expand to affect decisions made in other departments. Next, they will be recognized by other departments and management as resources within the corporation by acting as formal or informal “consultants”. Ultimately, the individuals should serve as representatives or ambassadors for the company at trade, governmental and inter-corporate functions.

The final important component needed for a successful skills development program is job knowledge. This is the combination of formal education with hands-on experience of how that knowledge is applied within the organization. Formal education usually is provided through colleges, universities and other institutions of higher learning. Hands-on has evolved because individuals have worked with particular products or services that the company provides to the market—regardless of whether it is a profit or nonprofit organization. Job knowledge is likely to progress as follows: learn, master, apply, teach and lead.

At the entry level, individuals may have had some formal education and qualified for a degree in a particular profession. However, new employees must learn how that formal education is applied within the context of the requirements of the particular position in order to be effective in the job. In addition, employees must learn how the organization conducts its business and the culture and infrastructure that has been established. As they master these elements, the knowledge can be applied to solve problems or meet the challenges faced by the organization.