Human Resources

Career Conversations Create an Impactful Learning Experience

Training and development serve both the employee and the company, and having routine conversations with employees about the course of their careers is essential to a healthy organization. Here with an article on delivering effective career conversations is Ron Raque, vice president and principal consultant of Right Management.

In today’s changing world of work, businesses are learning to align their employees’ aspirations to the organization’s strategy to maximize attraction, engagement, development, and retention of talent—which is causing many leaders to reevaluate the way they collaborate with their employees.

One such challenge has been the developing need for ongoing feedback in the workplace. While supposedly championed by the growing Millennial population, it’s no secret that more regular conversations—or career conversations—between employees and their managers serve to benefit workers of all ages and levels.

Recent research from Right Management shows that a full two-thirds of individual performance drivers are tied to career conversations, making it the most important people process in an organizational culture that embraces career development. Figures also show that 89% of employees believe that they are responsible for their own career development.

However, only 24% of employees feel they’re getting the right advice, so they rely on managers for guidance on how to progress in their career. Unfortunately, only 16% of employees report that they are having ongoing career discussions with their manager.

But how can an organization use career conversations to develop a culture of career at all levels of an organization?

Career Conversations Replacing the Annual Review

For decades, managers and employees have waited each year for the dreaded annual review. The mandatory conversation would cover the past year of work, a potential promotion, and any changes to compensation. While employees and managers continue to work together closely on a daily basis, more often than not, there is no time between annual reviews set aside for regular performance or development feedback.

Career conversations need to start from day one on the job so that managers and their employees are aligned on a path to success. Beyond key performance indicators (KPIs), career conversations bring out talent-based expectations and how they may change over time.

The very questions that create a career conversations lend well to a continued conversation about development throughout the year and beyond. These are:

  • Who am I?
  • How do I fit?
  • What is expected of me?
  • What and how should I develop?
  • How am I doing?
  • How will my talents and contributions be recognized?
  • What’s next for me?


In tomorrow’s Advisor, Raque elaborates on how these conversations are the cornerstone of a self-managed career along with three essentials for fostering a good environment for career conversations.