Why Your Career Development Solutions Should Be Community-Driven

Ten Thousand Coffees Team -
October 10, 2023

Almost every employee (90%) would agree that a clear career development plan is important to them. And according to a LinkedIn Learning Report, even more employees (94%) say they’re more likely to stay with a company if it was clear that their learning and development is a priority. There’s no question that the right career development solutions are key to building a successful and satisfied workforce. 

But with rapidly-changing organizational structures and increasingly agile approaches to business management, employee career pathing is easier said than done. 

The new world of work has created nearly infinite paths for employee growth, with no employee development roadmap looking the same. So how can you offer a personalized, yet impactful learning and development experience for each employee? By leveraging the entire organization through a community-driven approach. 

Here's how 10KC's career development platform helps leading enterprises make the most of employee development.

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What to look for in a career development solution

Before we dive right into the solutions, let’s just talk about career development for a second.

Here’s the thing. There’s no one way to approach career development. From mentorship programs to training and development, every employee and organization has different needs when it comes to successfully implementing career development solutions.

But there are a few things to keep an eye out for that can help ensure career development success for your employees and organization. You should look for employee development solutions that:

1. Build larger and more meaningful employee networks

While employees are often able to identify their long-term goals themselves, asking them to figure out how to get there alone is a tall order. 

It’s why we often look toward their direct managers to carve out a more defined career path. And while people managers can play a major role in employee development, they often face a sky-high list of responsibilities that makes individualized employee development a challenge.

Instead, by helping employees create their own connections across the organization, you open up the doors to mentors, coaches, subject matter experts, or even sponsors—all of which can offer personalized support to help them reach their career goals. 

But fostering these types of connections requires a solution that helps employees reach beyond their immediate teams.

See how 10KC helps organizations build connectivity experiences that drive engagement and retention. Download now.

2. Make enrollment and implementation easy

Career development isn’t easy—for you or your employees. Your career development tools should alleviate the administrative burden, not add to it.

Sure, you can manually manage employee development and mentorship matches in a spreadsheet. But frankly, it’s not sustainable and wastes valuable time—both for your employees and your leaders who are responsible for managing employee development. 

Career development solutions need to scale. If not, you’ll find yourself struggling to reach the goals you set out to achieve.

At the same time, you need to make it easy for employees to take advantage of opportunities.

When employees find career development ineffective or inaccessible, they’re more likely to give up and search for new opportunities elsewhere.

3. Embrace flexibility and adaptability

40% of HR leaders say they can’t build skill development solutions fast enough to meet evolving needs. In today’s fast-changing work landscape, it’s to be expected that one-size-fits-all solutions are challenging (if not impossible) to create. 

Career development was much more straightforward in decades past. The path for every employee was relatively linear and each employee faced the same skill requirements and abilities as those who came before them.

These days, career development trajectories resemble more like tangled balls of yarn. Roles and job responsibilities are changing at an unprecedented pace. Every individual’s career path likely looks significantly different than the next. What worked last year often isn’t necessarily replicable today. So it’s no surprise that while 21% of employees feel that their company’s current training processes are out of date.

Modern career development requires solutions that can flex to meet changing organizational goals and cater to the unique needs of individual employees.

4. Create inclusive and unbiased development opportunities

Think you can hire away your diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) challenges? Think again.

While inclusive hiring will always matter, we’ve long busted the myth that hiring is the best (and only) solution to improving DEI.

The better solution to challenge existing inequities is to elevate existing employees from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds. For example, this corporate pipeline report found that women of color make up 18% of entry-level employees. But representation drops significantly at the Sr. Management and C-Suite levels to 9% and 3% respectively. We often see similar drops in representation among other underrepresented groups at the leadership level, including BIPOC and LGBTQ+ employees.

When DEI isn’t a priority in career development and mentorship in the workplace, it can often further perpetuate inequity among diverse employees. 

Learn how 10KC helps you build and scale DEI programs through inclusive mentoring and networking. Download now.

5. Provide actionable analytics and insights

The first success metric for your employee development program? A successful program launch.

But what happens next?

It’s not enough to sit back and hope for the best. Success in a career development program can be measured in many ways depending on your organizational goals. Including:

  • Participation: Which and how many are participating in your career development programs? What about mentors and leaders?
  • Internal mobility: Are employees being promoted? Is there more internal movement between departments and roles?
  • Representation: Are you seeing better diversity at the management and senior levels?
  • Employee engagement: Are employees happier and more productive in their roles? Do they experience a better sense of belonging?
  • Employee retention: Are more employees staying within the organization rather than leaving?

An effective career development platform should offer easy access to data and insights that help you measure progress and share updates with stakeholders. And of course, to make your employee development program more effective, you need to be able to regularly review the data and continuously make changes on the fly.

The benefits of a community-driven approach to career development

They say that teamwork makes the dream work. It’s a bit of a cliché, but career development is one of those things that are simply better as a team. And the truth is that a large percentage of your employees—32% to be exact—want their training to include a social element. 

A community-driven approach turns employee development into a shared responsibility across the organization. Over time, it makes learning and development an integral part of your company culture.

Here’s how:

  • It empowers employees to take control of their own career development: Managers and organizations have traditionally owned employee career development. A community-driven approach puts employees in the driver’s seat, so they can easily leverage the relationships and networks around them.
  • It makes it possible to implement tailored programs for different audiences: Different employees have different development goals and needs, which is why a one-size-fits-all solution doesn’t work. A community-based approach means you can connect employees with the right programs and networks that help them reach their own unique career development goals.
  • It removes bias and barriers: Underrepresented groups often don’t have the networks necessary to unlock career development opportunities, such as sponsorship. A community-driven approach means every employee—regardless of their background—has access to mentors, senior leaders, and opportunities.
  • It improves employee visibility and exposure: Community-driven employee development means employees can connect with executives and similar colleagues across the entire organization—not just within their department. Being able to connect with a larger cohort of employees, individually or in a group, improves visibility for employees and opens up a larger pool of opportunities.
 Learn how a community-driven approach can accelerate employee career development. Watch now

How does 10KC facilitate career development? 

Traditional career development focuses on linear paths, often guided by managers. Instead, 10KC turns career development on its head, empowering employees to take ownership of their growth—with a community of peers ready to support them.

Here are a few ways 10KC turns your company community into career development:

  • Make career development an experience: Go beyond cookie-cutter programs. With interactive formats from 1:1 mentorship to small group settings through Office Hours, employees can make the most of the resources and people available to them.
  • Create matches at scale: Spreadsheets and manual matching no more. Introductions help you match thousands of employees at the click of a button. Connecting employees to a wider network ensures better visibility and access to the opportunities they need to grow.
  • Get insights at your fingertips: Data-informed decisions have never been easier with pre-built data dashboards that are synced to your HRIS. In just a few seconds, you’ll be able to align employee development with individual career goals and overall strategic priorities.
  • Promote equitable development: With matches based on interests and goals, you eliminate the risk of bias that happens when you leave mentorship matches and development opportunities up to chance.
  • Meet you where you work: No need for additional software or onboarding. From communication to video conferencing, 10KC seamlessly integrates into the tools your team already uses.
  • Implement structured curriculums and programs: Employees (and leaders) don’t need to be left to fend for themselves.10KC’s carefully curated collection of structured curriculums, modules and tools are specially designed to facilitate knowledge sharing and skills development. 
“It went from mentorship in smaller pockets across the company to a business-centered, application-based program that focused on creating visibility and career development opportunities for both mentees and mentors.” - Crystal Neill, DEI, Global Development Senior Program Manager, Nike

Dedicated career development programs from 10KC 

You need dedicated solutions that foster a robust internal talent pipeline while driving better employee engagement and retention. 10KC can help.

But it’s not just employees who have different needs. The same can be said for broader employee communities, from your frontline employees all the way to your people managers.

Our dedicated career development tools and programs are carefully designed to meet the challenges different employees face in their career development progress. 

People Manager Program

People managers often make up the immediate pipeline for senior leadership roles. Your people managers have a unique and challenging role to play. On top of their regular responsibilities, they’re tasked with supporting employee development for their direct reports while also unlocking their own potential. It’s a lot to ask but the right resources can help.

10KC's People Manager Program helps you nurture more effective and resilient leaders by:

  • Pairing growing leaders with senior leadership to create learning opportunities.
  • Fostering critical skills, including stress management and leadership development.

High Potential Talent Development Program

High-potential talent are the future leaders of your organization. But they can’t get there if there’s no plan in place to make the most of their skills and experience.

10KC’s High Potential Talent Program creates a pipeline of capable future leaders by:

  • Matching up-and-coming talent with potential mentors, sponsors, and other networks.
  • Providing the skills development and tool kits needed to prepare employees to support your future organizational goals.

Frontline Worker Development Program

When we think about career development, we often overlook entry-level, front-line employees. But over 70% of frontline employees have applied to internal or external career advancement opportunities. 

10KC’s Frontline Workforce Program bridges the gap between frontline workers and the corporate career path:

  • Frontline worker training and skills development programs needed for your frontline employees to succeed in a corporate environment.
  • Job-seeking strategies and opportunities to connect with recruiters and other corporate leaders.

Early Talent Program

Students and new grads are some of the biggest assets to your organization. Investing in early talent can help with long-term succession planning and creating a culture of growth and development.

10KCs Early Talent Program fills your future talent pipeline by helping early talent:

  • Connect with senior leaders that wouldn’t traditionally be available to them.
  • Access skills development and opportunities to help them reach the next stage of their careers.
“10KC helped us take the manual work out of our networking program and make sure every new intern or co-op will get the virtual networking, learning and informal mentoring opportunities that make EY such a great place to work. We are able to understand exactly what each participant is looking for in their conversations and make valuable connections for each of our incoming interns and co-op hires.”- Jordan Barratt, National Campus Recruiting Leader, EY

Onboarding Program

Help employees build meaningful relationships and development opportunities from day 1. When new team members feel supported early on, it sets them up for future success within your organization. 

10KC’s Onboarding Program elevates your onboarding experience by:

  • Making onboarding less daunting with 1:1 onboarding buddies and curriculums to integrate them into company culture.
  • Connecting new hires with seasoned employees and senior leaders based on shared interests and goals to foster belonging.

Supercharge employee development with 10KC’s community-driven career development solutions. Request a free demo.
Webinar

Why Your Career Development Solutions Should Be Community-Driven

What to look for in a career development solution

Before we dive right into the solutions, let’s just talk about career development for a second.

Here’s the thing. There’s no one way to approach career development. From mentorship programs to training and development, every employee and organization has different needs when it comes to successfully implementing career development solutions.

But there are a few things to keep an eye out for that can help ensure career development success for your employees and organization. You should look for employee development solutions that:

1. Build larger and more meaningful employee networks

While employees are often able to identify their long-term goals themselves, asking them to figure out how to get there alone is a tall order. 

It’s why we often look toward their direct managers to carve out a more defined career path. And while people managers can play a major role in employee development, they often face a sky-high list of responsibilities that makes individualized employee development a challenge.

Instead, by helping employees create their own connections across the organization, you open up the doors to mentors, coaches, subject matter experts, or even sponsors—all of which can offer personalized support to help them reach their career goals. 

But fostering these types of connections requires a solution that helps employees reach beyond their immediate teams.

See how 10KC helps organizations build connectivity experiences that drive engagement and retention. Download now.

2. Make enrollment and implementation easy

Career development isn’t easy—for you or your employees. Your career development tools should alleviate the administrative burden, not add to it.

Sure, you can manually manage employee development and mentorship matches in a spreadsheet. But frankly, it’s not sustainable and wastes valuable time—both for your employees and your leaders who are responsible for managing employee development. 

Career development solutions need to scale. If not, you’ll find yourself struggling to reach the goals you set out to achieve.

At the same time, you need to make it easy for employees to take advantage of opportunities.

When employees find career development ineffective or inaccessible, they’re more likely to give up and search for new opportunities elsewhere.

3. Embrace flexibility and adaptability

40% of HR leaders say they can’t build skill development solutions fast enough to meet evolving needs. In today’s fast-changing work landscape, it’s to be expected that one-size-fits-all solutions are challenging (if not impossible) to create. 

Career development was much more straightforward in decades past. The path for every employee was relatively linear and each employee faced the same skill requirements and abilities as those who came before them.

These days, career development trajectories resemble more like tangled balls of yarn. Roles and job responsibilities are changing at an unprecedented pace. Every individual’s career path likely looks significantly different than the next. What worked last year often isn’t necessarily replicable today. So it’s no surprise that while 21% of employees feel that their company’s current training processes are out of date.

Modern career development requires solutions that can flex to meet changing organizational goals and cater to the unique needs of individual employees.

4. Create inclusive and unbiased development opportunities

Think you can hire away your diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) challenges? Think again.

While inclusive hiring will always matter, we’ve long busted the myth that hiring is the best (and only) solution to improving DEI.

The better solution to challenge existing inequities is to elevate existing employees from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds. For example, this corporate pipeline report found that women of color make up 18% of entry-level employees. But representation drops significantly at the Sr. Management and C-Suite levels to 9% and 3% respectively. We often see similar drops in representation among other underrepresented groups at the leadership level, including BIPOC and LGBTQ+ employees.

When DEI isn’t a priority in career development and mentorship in the workplace, it can often further perpetuate inequity among diverse employees. 

Learn how 10KC helps you build and scale DEI programs through inclusive mentoring and networking. Download now.

5. Provide actionable analytics and insights

The first success metric for your employee development program? A successful program launch.

But what happens next?

It’s not enough to sit back and hope for the best. Success in a career development program can be measured in many ways depending on your organizational goals. Including:

  • Participation: Which and how many are participating in your career development programs? What about mentors and leaders?
  • Internal mobility: Are employees being promoted? Is there more internal movement between departments and roles?
  • Representation: Are you seeing better diversity at the management and senior levels?
  • Employee engagement: Are employees happier and more productive in their roles? Do they experience a better sense of belonging?
  • Employee retention: Are more employees staying within the organization rather than leaving?

An effective career development platform should offer easy access to data and insights that help you measure progress and share updates with stakeholders. And of course, to make your employee development program more effective, you need to be able to regularly review the data and continuously make changes on the fly.

The benefits of a community-driven approach to career development

They say that teamwork makes the dream work. It’s a bit of a cliché, but career development is one of those things that are simply better as a team. And the truth is that a large percentage of your employees—32% to be exact—want their training to include a social element. 

A community-driven approach turns employee development into a shared responsibility across the organization. Over time, it makes learning and development an integral part of your company culture.

Here’s how:

  • It empowers employees to take control of their own career development: Managers and organizations have traditionally owned employee career development. A community-driven approach puts employees in the driver’s seat, so they can easily leverage the relationships and networks around them.
  • It makes it possible to implement tailored programs for different audiences: Different employees have different development goals and needs, which is why a one-size-fits-all solution doesn’t work. A community-based approach means you can connect employees with the right programs and networks that help them reach their own unique career development goals.
  • It removes bias and barriers: Underrepresented groups often don’t have the networks necessary to unlock career development opportunities, such as sponsorship. A community-driven approach means every employee—regardless of their background—has access to mentors, senior leaders, and opportunities.
  • It improves employee visibility and exposure: Community-driven employee development means employees can connect with executives and similar colleagues across the entire organization—not just within their department. Being able to connect with a larger cohort of employees, individually or in a group, improves visibility for employees and opens up a larger pool of opportunities.
 Learn how a community-driven approach can accelerate employee career development. Watch now

How does 10KC facilitate career development? 

Traditional career development focuses on linear paths, often guided by managers. Instead, 10KC turns career development on its head, empowering employees to take ownership of their growth—with a community of peers ready to support them.

Here are a few ways 10KC turns your company community into career development:

  • Make career development an experience: Go beyond cookie-cutter programs. With interactive formats from 1:1 mentorship to small group settings through Office Hours, employees can make the most of the resources and people available to them.
  • Create matches at scale: Spreadsheets and manual matching no more. Introductions help you match thousands of employees at the click of a button. Connecting employees to a wider network ensures better visibility and access to the opportunities they need to grow.
  • Get insights at your fingertips: Data-informed decisions have never been easier with pre-built data dashboards that are synced to your HRIS. In just a few seconds, you’ll be able to align employee development with individual career goals and overall strategic priorities.
  • Promote equitable development: With matches based on interests and goals, you eliminate the risk of bias that happens when you leave mentorship matches and development opportunities up to chance.
  • Meet you where you work: No need for additional software or onboarding. From communication to video conferencing, 10KC seamlessly integrates into the tools your team already uses.
  • Implement structured curriculums and programs: Employees (and leaders) don’t need to be left to fend for themselves.10KC’s carefully curated collection of structured curriculums, modules and tools are specially designed to facilitate knowledge sharing and skills development. 
“It went from mentorship in smaller pockets across the company to a business-centered, application-based program that focused on creating visibility and career development opportunities for both mentees and mentors.” - Crystal Neill, DEI, Global Development Senior Program Manager, Nike

Dedicated career development programs from 10KC 

You need dedicated solutions that foster a robust internal talent pipeline while driving better employee engagement and retention. 10KC can help.

But it’s not just employees who have different needs. The same can be said for broader employee communities, from your frontline employees all the way to your people managers.

Our dedicated career development tools and programs are carefully designed to meet the challenges different employees face in their career development progress. 

People Manager Program

People managers often make up the immediate pipeline for senior leadership roles. Your people managers have a unique and challenging role to play. On top of their regular responsibilities, they’re tasked with supporting employee development for their direct reports while also unlocking their own potential. It’s a lot to ask but the right resources can help.

10KC's People Manager Program helps you nurture more effective and resilient leaders by:

  • Pairing growing leaders with senior leadership to create learning opportunities.
  • Fostering critical skills, including stress management and leadership development.

High Potential Talent Development Program

High-potential talent are the future leaders of your organization. But they can’t get there if there’s no plan in place to make the most of their skills and experience.

10KC’s High Potential Talent Program creates a pipeline of capable future leaders by:

  • Matching up-and-coming talent with potential mentors, sponsors, and other networks.
  • Providing the skills development and tool kits needed to prepare employees to support your future organizational goals.

Frontline Worker Development Program

When we think about career development, we often overlook entry-level, front-line employees. But over 70% of frontline employees have applied to internal or external career advancement opportunities. 

10KC’s Frontline Workforce Program bridges the gap between frontline workers and the corporate career path:

  • Frontline worker training and skills development programs needed for your frontline employees to succeed in a corporate environment.
  • Job-seeking strategies and opportunities to connect with recruiters and other corporate leaders.

Early Talent Program

Students and new grads are some of the biggest assets to your organization. Investing in early talent can help with long-term succession planning and creating a culture of growth and development.

10KCs Early Talent Program fills your future talent pipeline by helping early talent:

  • Connect with senior leaders that wouldn’t traditionally be available to them.
  • Access skills development and opportunities to help them reach the next stage of their careers.
“10KC helped us take the manual work out of our networking program and make sure every new intern or co-op will get the virtual networking, learning and informal mentoring opportunities that make EY such a great place to work. We are able to understand exactly what each participant is looking for in their conversations and make valuable connections for each of our incoming interns and co-op hires.”- Jordan Barratt, National Campus Recruiting Leader, EY

Onboarding Program

Help employees build meaningful relationships and development opportunities from day 1. When new team members feel supported early on, it sets them up for future success within your organization. 

10KC’s Onboarding Program elevates your onboarding experience by:

  • Making onboarding less daunting with 1:1 onboarding buddies and curriculums to integrate them into company culture.
  • Connecting new hires with seasoned employees and senior leaders based on shared interests and goals to foster belonging.

Supercharge employee development with 10KC’s community-driven career development solutions. Request a free demo.

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