Workplace Guides: Career Development

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Evaluating Success

This section includes: 

To ensure the continued success of career development initiatives, and in order to provide participants with the best tools to help them develop their careers, organisations should have comprehensive feedback, evaluation and monitoring systems in place.

Collecting feedback and consulting lesbian and gay employees

Most organisations have well established participant feedback mechanisms for their training courses and other initiatives, which then help tailor those courses in the future. These same mechanisms could be used for any training courses targeted specifically at lesbian and gay employees. For generic initiatives, organisations should ensure that they monitor the sexual orientation of participants in their feedback. This will help them to identify any issues surrounding the experiences of lesbian and gay participants.

It is important that organisations continue to consult their lesbian and gay staff for specific recommendations about initiatives and to identify any further issues they may encounter during their career development.

BT Kaleidoscope annually consults the previous year’s participants of their Confidence Plus programme to help the evolution of the following year’s course.

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Monitoring and tracking career progression

In the long term, organisations should implement monitoring strategies to allow them to assess whether initiatives to support the career development of lesbian and gay employees have led to improved retention, progression and motivation of their lesbian and gay staff. Organisations should aim to implement monitoring of all internal promotions and of all employees leaving the organisation. They should also aim to annually monitor the sexual orientation of all staff across all levels to highlight any changes in the proportion of lesbian and gay employees at different levels, departments or teams.

Some organisations can monitor the career progression of their staff over time to help identify potential obstacles specific groups may be encountering in their career development. This level of monitoring requires both technological sophistication and well developed confidentiality policies that have been open to consultation.

The Home Office is developing an entirely electronic Human Resources database, completed by employees. This database will not only hold basic data on employees, but will also hold their self-updating diversity and equality data. Through their individual employee number, only accessible by a core number of senior Human Resources staff, the system will eventually be able to track the career progression of lesbian and gay employees throughout the organisation.

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Continuing to develop career development opportunities

As monitoring systems develop and become more sophisticated, organisations will be able to identify individuals of high potential, or more easily identify teams, levels and even line managers that may be a barrier to the career development of particular groups of people. Only a few organisations have begun to implement the complex technological systems and policies to make this possible.

The Home Office intends to develop a system where all employees will be asked to assess their own skills and potential and identify whether they feel they are employed at the correct level given their capabilities. This assessment will be discussed with the employee and the line manager and high performing lesbian and gay employees will be identified by senior human resources personnel. These employees can then receive targeted career development opportunities to help them fulfil their potential.

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