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Why Organisations Get Career Development Wrong – Part 1

Updated: Aug 23, 2023

Why organisations get career development wrong - Patricia Ezechie Coaching

Many would argue that the responsibility for an employee’s career development lies squarely with the organisation they work for. After all, the biggest asset an organisation has is it’s people, right? If an organisation has a clear strategic vision, wants to maximise the return on its investments, grow and maintain its competitive advantage, then it makes sense to ensure its biggest corporate asset – it’s people - are developed, nurtured and retained.

In reality, the responsibility for career development is devolved from HR and L&D departments who have an increasingly more strategic and business focus, to the line managers in organisations as part of their day to day responsibilities. According to the CIPD a line manager's responsibilities typically include:

  • day-to-day people management

  • managing operational costs

  • providing technical expertise

  • allocating work and rotas

  • monitoring work and checking quality

  • dealing with customers/clients

  • measuring operational performance

  • developing their people

Even with the best will in the world and the most people focused, team orientated, committed manager, how much time, thought and effort can they realistically invest in each of their team members given their other responsibilities? More importantly should the personal and professional development of the individual really be down to the organisation they work for which in fact translates to their line manager?


Are you as an employee so confident that your organization's vision and your personal aspirations are so aligned that you are happy to hand over the responsibility for, decisions about and direction of your future?

Moreover, is it reasonable or prudent to expect an organisation / line manager to have complete clarity on where your interests and aspirations lie, match them to the perfect job that uses and develops all your talents and fulfils all your personal development needs while keeping you stimulated, motivated, interested and contributing to the company's strategic vision?

I think not.

Where is the individual’s responsibility in their own career if you are effectively abdicating the thinking, planning and development of their careers to the company's, senior and line managers they work for?

Career development and management is a lifelong process. Our working lives are going to be much longer and we have an increasing number of ways in which we can engage with work. Jobs and organisations are evolving and restructuring to meet the changing technological environment, we are about to enter a new paradigm in our economy and we are no longer spending our working lives in one place.

To meet these challenges and to co-create a future that meets both the needs of the organisation and the personal and professional needs of the individual, organisations and individuals need to start thinking differently. The responsibility for personal and career development should not sit squarely with the organisation and in Part II I will share 5 ways individuals and organisations can approach career development differently.

© Patricia Ezechie Coaching and Consultancy 2017. All Rights Reserved.

If you are interested in a more empowered approach to your career and career development or as an organisation you are interested in increasing your bottom line by harnessing, developing and retaining your people I would love to hear from you.


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