Term Paper: Networking Who You Know

Pages: 11 (2942 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Careers  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] The reality however, is that the majority of organizational leaders are far to busy managing the day-to-day affairs of a business to provide adequate time to help employees with career development opportunities.

Human Resources professionals are often tasked with the function of developing career ladders within an organization (Noe, et. al, 2003). They work in conjunction with business managers and employees to outline a hierarchical pattern of opportunity in most situations. In some organizations, the hiring policy is constructed in a manner that does indeed focus on internal candidates, and seek out employees working within the company to promote. This practice is not by any means standardized however, and a vast majority of employers are just as willing to hire external as well as internal candidates for promotional positions.

An employee has a responsibility to take charge of their career growth. If they aspire to climb the corporate ladder to success, it is their personal duty to make their intentions known to their employer. By doing so, they open the door of possibility to potential mentorship programs and coaching. No organization however, unless they have strictly outlined a career path in an employee contract, has an obligation to neither establish a mentoring program nor promote an employees growth interests by law. Most employees assume that those opportunities exist, and also assume that by some magical wave of a wand, their supervisor or manager will realize that they are the most ideal candidate for promotion.

Advancing in the real world requires hard work and commitment. Employees have an obligation to seek out the education necessary to advance, and to build the relationships that might be required to advance through an organization. Advancement isn't simply the result of seniority or "paying ones dues." Unless an employer specifically guarantees advancement over a period of time when hiring an employee, there is no guarantee that the corporation will promote the advancement of an employee, and they are certainly not required to do so.

That being said, a great majority of employers would benefit by providing employees with career growth opportunities and ladders for advancement. Employees are motivated by a variety of factors, some material and others spiritual or personal in nature (Noe, et. al, 2003). Providing employees with incentives to grow is an appropriate mechanism for acquiring and retaining loyal employees.

Continual organizational development is an essential factor for remaining competitive in the world of business (Swieringa, et. al, 1993). An organization that is continually developing is more likely to promote career ladders and employee development than one that is not. Employers who are smart would cross train employees and increase their knowledge of a particular functional area, which in turn increases the potential for advancement for employees. Again however, unless an employer has established a contractual obligation with an employee, they are under no circumstances obligated to promote any employees career success.

A majority of employees walk into an employment agreeing feeling that their employer is obligated to promote their best interests, that they have a "right to" many things. This simply is not the reality however. The only exception to the rule might be in a situation where an employer has offered educational reimbursement opportunities. Once an employer has signed a contract indicating that they will provide an employee with reimbursement for educational endeavors that will promote advancement, they are liable to commit to this arrangement unless there is an "out" clause in the contract.

Employers are obligated to many things. They are obligated to provide a safe and healthy work environment for employees. They are obligated to prevent harassment and violence in the workplace. They are obligated to provide employees, under certain situations with a designated time for breaks, with a place to relieve themselves. An employer is under no obligation however, to advance the interests and career opportunities of its employees.

Professional development possibilities also depend on the functional area in which an employee works in, and on the organization itself. Careers need to be managed effectively and professionally. Employers are obligated to inform and employee of the general duties that he/she will be expected to perform over a designated period of time. Employers typically assign a wage to an employee that is matched with the employee's functions, skills and abilities. The majority of employees seek to climb the corporate ladder in an effort to move into a higher paying category. Such aspirations are noteworthy, but will not necessarily make a difference to an employer.

Employers do sometimes enact policies that outline a path for succession planning. In rare instances an employer will promise employees that after working a certain amount of time; they are eligible for promotion to a higher paying category within a career ladder. In this example, the employee still is not guaranteed promotion, and may only assume that once they have put in X amount of years, they are eligible for promotion. Again, the employer, unless they clearly outline a policy that states that an employee "will" be advanced, is under no obligation to advance employees.

That being said, not promoting a career ladder and internal development for employees is bad for employers. Employees live in a rapidly changing society where loyalty in the workplace is almost non-existent. It is not uncommon for employees to "job hop" or move from one employer to another within a matter of a few short years, even less in some situations. Long gone are the days when employees stayed with a corporation for ten, twenty and sometimes even thirty years.

Employers wanting to build a strong workforce will invest in career succession planning. Human Resource Professionals should be committed to working toward the advancement and development of employees at all levels. Investing time and effort in ones employees will result in a more motivated, compelling and productive workforce. Employees should share in strategic planning sessions and organizational development meetings. Employers are constantly seeking out ways to reduce recruiting costs and turn over expenses. The high rate of turn over in many organizations results in a great amount of overhead expense.

Many employees stay with an employer only long enough to be trained in a particular job function, then move on to another organization that is willing to pay more, or offer better benefits, or some combination of the two. Organizations lose hundreds and thousands of dollars every year because of such non-committal patterns. One way that organizations can build a more loyal workforce is to institute a policy of succession planning.

Succession planning is often effective when employers institute a policy of hiring internal candidates before external candidates are examined. Internal employees have much to offer a corporation, including insider knowledge of corporate culture, organizational goals and strategies. An employee being promoted from a lesser position may offer valuable insights at another level of the organization. Internal employees do sometimes require an investment by the employer, primarily in the form of added training which may be important for an employee to succeed in a new avenue of the company. Often this investment is small compared to the potential loss an employer faces by hiring an unknown external candidate who ends up leaving the corporation after a substantial investment in similar new employee training. Most importantly, organizations should take into consideration the fact that an employee who is on a career succession plan is more likely to stay with a company long-term, because they feel that the company has invested in them, and thus they are willing to invest in the organization.

From a moral perspective, employers should be obligated to provide career ladder opportunities for employees. Unfortunately, the vast majority of employers operate only in the here and now, and do not take advantage of the benefits career succession planning might offer in the long-term. Employers maintain the standpoint that they are under no obligation to promote the career development of employees. Employees are obligated then, to pursue supervisors, managers and Human Resources professional and engage them in discussions related to succession planning. Even then, an employer is not "obligated" to promote or develop an employee; they are however, much more likely to take notice of an employees motivation and desire for achievement, and assist in the career development process.


Brindle, Margaret, & Mainiero, Lisa. 2000."Managing Power through Lateral Networking." Quorum Books: CT.

Chernow, Cindy. "Networking vs. Not Working." Engaging Multiple Generations at Work. Available: http://www.astdla.org/articles/article_display.asp?artID=90

Marken, G.A. 2001. "Power Networking: 59 Secrets for Personal and Professional Success." Public Relations Quarterly, Vol. 46.

Noe, R., Hoolenbeck, J., Gerhart, B. & Wright, P. 2003. Human resource

Management: Gaining a competitive advantage. 4th edn. McGraw-Hill, Boston.

Swieringa,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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