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Developing and Assisting Members

Developing and Assisting Members

This lecture presents three human resources management interventions concerned with developing and assisting the well-being of organization members. First, organizations have had to adapt their career planning and development processes to a variety of trends. For example, people have different needs and concerns as they progress through their career stages; technological changes have altered organizational structures and systems dramatically; and global competition has forced organizations to redefine how work gets done. These processes and concerns have forced individuals and organizations to redefine the social contract that binds them together. Career planning and development interventions can help deal effectively with these issues. Second, increasing workforce diversity provides an especially challenging environment for human resources management. The mix of genders, ages, value orientations, thinking styles, and ethnic backgrounds represented in the modern workforce is increasingly varied. Management's perspectives, strategic responses, and implementation approaches can help address pressures posed by this diversity. Finally, wellness interventions, such as employee assistance and stress management programs, are addressing several important social trends, such as fitness and health consciousness, drug and alcohol abuse, and work-life balance.
Career Planning and Development Interventions:

Career planning and development have been receiving increased attention in organizations. Growing numbers of managers and professional staff are seeking more control over their work lives. As organizations downsize and restructure, there is less trust in the organization to provide job security. Employees are not willing to have their careers "just happen" and are taking an active role in planning and managing them. This is particularly true for women, mid-career employees, and college recruits, who are increasingly asking for career planning assistance. On the other hand, organizations are becoming more and more reliant on their "intellectual capital." Providing career planning and development opportunities for organization members helps to recruit and retain skilled and knowledgeable workers. Many talented job candidates, especially minorities and women, are showing a preference for employers who offer career advancement opportunities. Many organizations—General Electric, Xerox, Intel, Ciba-Geigy, Cisco Systems, Quaker Oats, and Novotel UK, among others—have adopted career planning and development programs. These programs have attempted to improve the quality of work life for managers and professionals, to improve their performance, to increase employee retention, and to respond to equal employment and affirmative action legislation. Companies have discovered that organizational growth and effectiveness require career development programs to ensure that needed talent will be available. Competent managers are often the scarcest resource.

Many companies also have experienced the high costs of turnover among recent college graduates, including MBAs, which can reach 50 percent after five years. Career planning and development help attract and hold such highly talented employees and can increase the chances that their skills and knowledge will be used. Organizations are discovering that the career development needs of women and minorities often require special programs and the use of nontraditional methods, such as integrated systems for recruitment, placement, and development. Similarly, age-discrimination laws have led many organizations to set up career programs aimed at older managers and professionals. Thus, career planning and development are increasingly being applied to people at different ages and stages of development—from new recruits to those nearing retirement age. Finally, career planning and development interventions increasingly have been used in cases of "career halt" where layoffs and job losses have resulted from organization decline, downsizing, reengineering, and restructuring. These abrupt halts to career progress can have severe human consequences, and human resources practices have been developed for helping members cope with these problems. Career planning is concerned with individuals choosing occupations, organizations, and positions at each stage of their careers. Career development involves helping employees attain career objectives. Although both of these interventions generally are aimed at managerial and professional employees, a growing number of programs are including lower-level employees, particularly those in white-collar jobs.

Career Stages:

A career consists of a sequence of work-related positions occupied by a person during the course of a lifetime. Traditionally, careers were judged in terms of advancement and promotion upward in the organizational hierarchy. Today, they are defined in more holistic ways to include a person's attitudes and experiences. For example, a person can remain in the same job, acquiring and developing new skills, and have a successful career without ever getting promoted. Similarly, people may move horizontally through a

series of jobs in different functional areas of the firm. Although they may not be promoted upward in the hierarchy, their broadened job experiences constitute a successful career. Considerable research has been devoted to understanding how aging and experience affect people's careers. This research has drawn on the extensive work done on adult growth and development and has adapted that developmental perspective to work experience. Results suggest that employees progress through at least four distinct career stages as they mature and gain experience. Each stage has unique concerns, needs, and challenges.
1. The establishment stage (ages 21-26 years).

This phase is the outset of a career when people are generally uncertain about their competence and potential. They are dependent on others, especially bosses and more experienced employees, for guidance, support, and feedback. At this stage, people are making initial choices about committing themselves to a specific career, organization, and job. They are exploring possibilities while learning about their own capabilities. 2

. The advancement stage (ages 26-40 years).

During this phase, employees become independent contributors who are concerned with achieving and advancing in their chosen careers. They have typically learned to perform autonomously and need less guidance from bosses and closer ties with colleagues. This settling-down period also is characterized by attempts to clarify the range of long-term career options.

3. The maintenance stage (ages 40-60 years

). This phase involves leveling off and holding on to career successes. Many people at this stage have achieved their greatest advancements and are now concerned with helping less-experienced subordinates. For those who are dissatisfied with their career progress, this period can be conflictual and depressing, as characterized by the term "midlife crisis." People often reappraise their circumstances, search for alternatives, and redirect their career efforts. Success in these endeavors can lead to com inning growth, whereas failure can lead to early decline.

4. The withdrawal stage (ages 60 years and above

). This final stage is concerned with leaving a career. It involves letting go of organizational attachments and getting ready for greater leisure time and retirement. The employee's major contributions are imparting knowledge and experience to others. For those people who are generally satisfied with their careers, this period can result in feelings of fulfillment and a willingness to leave the career behind. The different career stages represent a broad developmental perspective on people's jobs. They provide insight about the personal and career issues that people are likely to face at different career phases. These issues can be potential sources of stress. Employees are likely to go through the phases at different rates, and to experience personal and career issues differently at each stage. For example, one person may experience the maintenance stage as a positive opportunity to develop less-experienced employees; another person may experience the maintenance stage as a stressful leveling off of career success.

Career Planning:

Career planning involves setting individual career objectives. It is highly personalized and generally includes assessing one's interests, capabilities, values, and goals; examining alternative careers; making decisions that may affect the current job; and planning how to progress in the desired direction. This process results in people choosing occupations, organizations, and jobs. It determines, for example, whether individuals will accept or decline promotions and transfers and whether they will stay or leave the company for another job or for retirement. The four career stages can be used to make career planning more effective. Table 18.1 shows the different career stages and the career planning issues relevant at each phase. Applying the table to a particular employee involves first diagnosing the person's existing career stage—establishment, advancement, maintenance, or withdrawal. Next, available career planning resources are used to help the employee address pertinent issues. Career planning programs include some or all of the following resources:
Communication about career opportunities and resources available to employees within the organization
Workshops to encourage employees to assess their interests, abilities, and job situations and to formulate career development plans
Career counseling by managers or human resources personnel
Self-development materials, such as books, videotapes, and other media, directed toward identifying life and career issues
Assessment programs that provide various tests of vocational interests, aptitudes, and abilities relevant to setting career goals. Application 9 describes the career planning resources available at Pacific Bell. It provides an example of the range of resources that can be provided and how these programs can be implemented flexibly. According to Table 19, employees who are just becoming established in careers can be stressed by concerns for identifying alternatives, assessing their interests and capabilities, learning how to perform effectively,

and finding out how they are doing. At this stage, the company should provide considerable communication and counseling about available career paths and the skills and abilities needed to progress in them. Workshops, self-development materials, and assessment techniques should be aimed at helping employees assess their interests, aptitudes, and capabilities and at linking that information to possible careers and jobs. Considerable attention should be directed to giving employees continual feedback about job performance and to counseling them about how to improve it. The supervisor-subordinate relationship is especially important for these feedback and development activities. People at the advancement stage are mainly concerned with getting ahead, discovering long-term career options, and integrating career choices, such as transfers or promotions, with their personal lives. Here, the company should provide employees with communication and counseling about challenging assignments and

Table 19 Career Stages and Career Planning Issues Career Stage Career-Planning Issues

Establishment What are alternative occupations, organizations and jobs? What are my interests and capabilities? How do I get the work accomplished? Am I performing as expected? Am I developing he necessary skills for advancement? Advancement Am I advancing as expected? How can I advance more effectively? What long-term options are available? How do I get more exposure and visibility? How do I develop more effective peer relationship? How do I better integrate career choices with my personal life? Maintenance How do I help others become established and advance? Should I reassess myself and my career? Should I redirect my action? Withdrawal What are my interests outside of work? What postretirement work options are available to me? How can I be financially secure? How can I continue to help others?

Application 9: Career Planning Centers at Pacific Bell

Pacific Bell, a Pacific Telesis company, provides local telephone products and services to residential and business customers throughout California. The company operates ten career centers, each managed by an on-site career development specialist with at least ten months of intensive on-the-job training. In addition, the company operates two mobile vans that serve the career needs of employees in outlying areas. Employees come to the center on their own or may be referred by their managers or a medical health services counselor. Their visits are completely confidential. Each center has a reference of print, audio, and video resources on career planning, retirement planning, job titles, and corporate culture. Employees have access to the company's job posting systems and computerized, self-guided career-life planning programs. All of the center's resources are linked to the corporate business plan. The center's staff also provides workshops on resume writing, interviewing, group interpretation of career assessments, and career planning. An employee can make an appointment with the career development specialist who will help him or her examine personal skills, interests, abilities, and values and identify appropriate career choices. The counseling process helps the worker answer the questions, "Who am 1? How am I seen? Where do I want to go? How do I get there?" The specialist will help employees research career options within the company or outside, if necessary, and to appraise their skills and abilities realistically against the job requirements. Personal issues affecting career options are considered and incorporated into each employee's individualized plan. Specialists also provide ongoing support while employees are making job changes and transitions. Brian Cowgill, the career counselor who provides clinical supervision to the northern California centers, says that the centers were created in response to Pacific Bell's strategic changes as well as to changes in the work environment and employees' values and needs. "Pacific Bell has changed its corporate mission to be more focused on the customer," says Cowgill. "As a result, job descriptions and job duties have changed

for many employees. They are challenged to examine their interests and abilities in order to keep up with the changing work environment." In addition, employee values have shifted. For example, younger employees are challenging old assumptions about work and are feeling the need to explore all the options open to them. Employee loyalty and commitment are low, especially among the newly hired who have highly sought skills and knowledge. A flattening of organizational structures leaves these employees with fewer opportunities for upward advancement, and they are actively making themselves available to the highest bidder. The career centers enable these employees to discover how best to use their skills and abilities. possibilities for more exposure and demonstration of skills. It should help clarify the range of possible long-term career options and provide members with some idea about where they stand in achieving them. Workshops, developmental materials, and assessment methods should be aimed at helping employees develop wider collegial relationships, join with effective mentors and sponsors, and develop more creativity and innovation. These activities also should help people assess both career and personal life spheres and integrate them more successfully. At the maintenance stage, individuals are concerned with helping newer employees become established and grow in their careers. This phase also may involve a reassessment of self and career and a possible redirection to something more rewarding. The firm should provide individuals with communications about the broader organization and how their roles fit into it. Workshops, developmental materials, counseling, and assessment techniques should be aimed at helping employees to assess and develop skills in order to train and coach others. For those experiencing a midlife crisis, career planning activities should be directed at helping them to reassess their circumstances and to develop in new directions. Midlife crises generally are caused by perceived threats to people's career or family identities. Career planning should help people deal effectively with identity issues, especially in the context of an ongoing career. This may include workshops and close interpersonal counseling to help people confront identity issues and reorient their thinking about themselves in relation to work and family. These activities also might help employees deal with the emotions evoked by a midlife crisis and develop the skills and confidence to try something new. Employees who are at the withdrawal stage can experience stress about disengaging from work and establishing a secure leisure life. Here, the company should provide communications and counseling about options for postretirement work and financial security, and it should convey the message that the employee's experience in the organization is still valued. Retirement planning workshops and materials can help employees gain the skills and information necessary to make a successful transition from work to non work life. They can prepare people to shift their attention away from the organization to other interests and activities. Effective career planning and development requires a comprehensive program integrating both corporate business objectives and employee career needs. This is accomplished through human resources planning aimed at developing and maintaining a workforce to meet business objectives. It includes recruiting new talent, matching people to jobs, helping them develop careers and perform effectively, and preparing them for satisfactory retirement. Career planning activities feed into and support career development and human resources planning activities.

Career Development:

Career development helps individuals achieve their career objectives. It follows closely from career planning and includes organizational practices that help employees implement those plans. These may include skill training, performance feedback and coaching, planned job rotation, mentoring, and continuing education. Career development can be integrated with people's career needs by linking it to different career stages. As described earlier, employees progress through distinct career stages, each with unique issues relevant to career planning: establishment, advancement, maintenance, arid withdrawal. Career development interventions help members implement these plans. Table 20 identifies career development interventions, lists the career stages to which they are most relevant, and defines their key purposes and intended outcomes. It shows that career development practices may apply to one or more career stages. Performance feedback and coaching, for example, are relevant to both the establishment and advancement stages. Career development interventions also can serve a variety of purposes, such as helping members identify a career path or providing feedback on career progress and work effectiveness. They can contribute to different organizational outcomes such as lowering turnover and costs and enhancing member satisfaction. Career development interventions traditionally have been applied to younger employees who have a longer time period to contribute to the firm than do older members. Managers often stereotype older employees as being less

Table 20 Career Development Interventions Intervention Career Stage Purpose Intended outcomes

Realistic job preview Establishment Advancement to provide members with an accurate expectation of work requirements Reduce turnover Reduce training costs Increase commitment Increase job satisfaction Job pathing Establishment Advancement To provide members with a sequence of work assignments leading to a career objective Reduce turnover Build organizational knowledge Performance feedback and coaching Establishment Advancement To provide members with knowledge about their career progress and work effectiveness Increase productivity Increase job satisfaction Monitor human resources development Assessment centers Establishment Advancement To select and develop members for managerial and technical jobs Increase person-job fit Identify high-potential candidates Mentoring Establishment Advancement Maintenance To link a lessexperienced member with a more-experienced member for member development Increase job satisfaction Increase member motivation Developmental training Establishment Advancement Maintenance To provide education and training opportunities that help members achieve career goals Increase organizational capability Work-life balance planning Establishment Advancement Maintenance To help members balance work and personal goals Improve quality of life Increase productivity Job rotation and challenging assignments Advancement Maintenance To provide members with interesting work Increase job satisfaction Maintain member motivation Dual-career accommodations Advancement Maintenance To assist members with significant others to find satisfying work assignments Attract and retain highquality members Increase job satisfaction Consultative roles Maintenance Withdrawal To help members fill productive roles later in their careers Increase problemsolving capacity Increase job satisfaction Phased retirement Withdrawal To assist members in moving into retirement Increase job satisfaction Lower stress during transition creative, alert, and productive than younger workers and consequently provide them with less career development support.10 Similarly, Table 20 suggests that the OD field has been relatively lax in developing methods for helping older members cope with the withdrawal stage because only two of the eleven interventions presented there apply to the withdrawal stage—consultative roles and phased retirement. This relative neglect can be expected to change in the near future; however, as the U.S. workforce continues to grey. To sustain a highly committed and motivated workforce, organizations increasingly will have to address the career needs of older employees. They will have to recognize and reward the contributions that older workers make to the company. Workforce diversity interventions, discussed later in this chapter, are a positive step in that direction.

Realistic Job Preview:

This intervention provides organization members with realistic expectations about the job during the recruitment process. It provides recruits with information about whether the job is likely to be consistent

with their needs and career plans. Such knowledge is especially useful during the establishment stage, when people are most in need of realistic information about organizations and jobs. It also can help employees during the advancement stage, when job changes are likely to occur because of promotion. Research suggests that people may develop unrealistic expectations about the organization and job. They can suffer from "reality shock" when those expectations are not fulfilled and may leave the organization or stay and become disgruntled and unmotivated. To overcome these problems, organizations such as Texas Instruments, Prudential Insurance, and Johnson & Johnson provide new recruits with information about both the positive and negative aspects of the company and the job. They furnish recruits with booklets, talks, and site visits showing what organizational life is really like. Such information reduces the chances that employees will develop unrealistic job expectations and become disgruntled and leave the company. This can lead to reduced turnover and training costs, and increased organizational commitment and job satisfaction.

Job Pathing:

This intervention provides members with a carefully developed sequence of work assignments leading to a career objective, although the notion of a job path in the new economy is being challenged. It helps members in the establishment and advancement stages of their careers. Job pathing helps employees develop skills, knowledge, and competencies by performing jobs that require new skills and abilities. Research suggests that employees who receive challenging job assignments early in their careers do better in later jobs. Career pathing allows for a gradual stretching of people's talents by moving them through selected jobs of increasing challenge and responsibility. As a person gains experience and demonstrates competence in the job, she or he moves to another job with more advanced skills and knowledge. Performing well on one job increases the chance of being assigned to a more demanding job. The keys to effective job pathing are to identify the skills an employee needs for a certain target job and then to lay out a sequence of interim jobs that will provide those experiences. The interim jobs should provide enough challenge to stretch a person's learning capacity without overwhelming the employee or withholding the target job too long. Some banks, for example, have used job pathing to provide employees with a specific series of jobs for learning how to become a branch manager. In one Los Angeles bank, the jobs in the path include teller, loan officer, credit manager, and commercial loan manager. Job pathing reduces turnover by offering opportunities for advancement. It also can build organizational knowledge. As employees advance along career paths, they gain skills and experience to resolve organizational problems, to assist in large-scale organization change, and to transfer their accumulated knowledge to new members.

Performance Feedback and Coaching:

One of the most effective interventions during the establishment and advancement phases includes feedback about job performance and coaching to improve performance. Employees need continual feedback about goal achievement as well as necessary support and coaching to improve their performances. Feedback and coaching are particularly relevant when employees are establishing careers. They have concerns about how to perform the work, whether they are performing up to expectations, and whether they are gaining the necessary skills for advancement. A manager can facilitate career establishment by providing feedback on performance, coaching, and on-the-job training. These activities can help

Application 10: Realistic job Preview at Nissan

James Mandelker had two minutes to grab fifty-five nuts, bolts, and washers; assemble them in groups of five; and attach them in order of size to a metal rack. But he fumbled nervously with several pieces and finished the task seconds after his allotted time. "I've got to get a little better at this, don't I?" he frowned, as he pulled the last of the fasteners out of a grimy plastic tray. His tester, Gloria Macaluso, encouraged him: "You're close. For the first night, you're probably doing a little better than normal." James is trying to get a job at the Nissan Motor Manufacturing Corporation plant in Smyrna, Tennessee. The thirty-one-year-old department-store employee will be devoting seventy hours worth of his nights and weekends during the next few months doing similar exercises. James and about 270 other job seekers are participating in Nissan's preemployment program. In exchange for a shot at highly paid assembly-line jobs and Nissan's promise not to inform their employers, these moonlighters will work as many as 360 hours without being paid. They will be tested and instructed in employment fundamentals by the Japanese automaker. "We hope the process makes it plain to people what the job is," says Thomas P. Groom, Nissan's manager of employment. "It's an indoctrination process as well as a screening tool." Not all participants are fully satisfied with the program. One candidate who works as a machine adjuster at an envelope factory says the long pre-employment period "worries you, because you get your hopes up." And some candidates bemoan the lack of pay for their time. But many participants feel that the training and experience outweigh the unpaid work required to get hired. For one thing, they get a shot at some of the

best-paying jobs in the state. If they are not hired, they can take elsewhere the skills they have learned there. Loraine Olsen, a press operator who went through the program, said, "It gave me a chance to see what Nissan expected of me without their having to make a commitment to me or me to them." Employees get the job done while meeting their career development needs. Companies such as Intel and Monsanto, for example, use performance feedback and coaching for employee career development. They separate the career development aspect of performance appraisal from the salary review component, thus ensuring that employees' career needs receive as much attention as salary issues. Feedback and coaching interventions can increase employee performance and satisfaction, and provide a systematic way to monitor the development of human resources in the firm.

Assessment Centers:

This intervention was traditionally designed to help organizations select and develop employees with high potential for managerial jobs. More recently, assessment centers have been extended to career development and to selection of people to fit new work designs, such as self-managing teams. When used to evaluate managerial capability, assessment centers typically process twelve to fifteen people at a time and require them to spend two to three days on site. Participants are given a comprehensive interview, take several tests of mental ability and knowledge, and participate in individual and group exercises intended to simulate managerial work. An assessment team consisting of experienced managers and human resources specialists observes the behaviors and performance of each candidate. This team arrives at an overall assessment of each participant's managerial potential, including a rating on several items believed to be relevant to managerial success in the organization, and pass the results to management for use in making promotion decisions. Assessment centers have been applied to career development as well, where the emphasis is on feedback of results to participants. Trained staff helps participants hear and understand feedback about their strong and weak points. They help participants become clearer about career advancement and identify training experiences and job assignments to promote that progress. When used for developmental purposes, assessment centers can provide employees with the support and direction needed for career development. They can demonstrate that the company is a partner rather than an adversary in that process. Although assessment centers can help people's careers at all stages of development, they seem particularly useful at the advancement stage, when employees need to assess their talents and capabilities in light of long-term career commitments. Research suggests that assessment centers can promote career advancement to the extent that participants are willing to work on the center's recommendations for development. When participants develop themselves in such areas as clarity about career motivation and ability to work with others, their probability of promotion increases. Assessment centers are being used increasingly to select members for new work designs. They provide comprehensive information about how recruits are likely to perform in such settings, which can increase the fit between the employee and the job and consequently lead to higher levels of employee performance and satisfaction. Application 18.4 shows how such centers can be used for selection purposes in a teambased organization. It illustrates how this intervention can help organizations select the right people, shorten training cycles, and improve productivity.


One of the most useful ways to help employees advance in their careers is sponsorship. This involves establishing a close link between a manager or someone more experienced and another organization member who is less experienced. Mentoring is a powerful intervention that assists members in the establishment, advancement, and maintenance stages of their careers. For those in the establishment stage, a sponsor or mentor takes a personal interest in the employee's career and guides and sponsors it. This ensures that a person's hard work and skill translate into actual opportunities for promotion and advancement. For older employees in the maintenance stage, mentoring provides opportunities to share knowledge and experience with others who are less experienced. Older managers may mentor younger employees who are in the establishment and advancement career stages. Mentors do not have to be the direct supervisors of the younger employees but can be hierarchically or functionally distant from them. Other mentoring opportunities include temporarily assigning veteran managers to newer managers to help them gain managerial skills and knowledge. For example, during the startup of a new manufacturing plant, the plant manager, who was in the advancement career stage, was assisted by a veteran with years of experience in manufacturing management. The veteran was temporarily located at the new plant to help the plant manager develop the skills and knowledge to get the plant operating and to manage it. Once a month, a consultant helped the two managers examine their relationship and set action plans for improving the mentoring process.

Several of Boeing's divisions have well-developed mentoring processes. High-potential members are identified and paired with a corporate manager who volunteers to be a mentor. The mentor helps the employee gain the skills, experience, and visibility necessary for advancement in the company. Senior executives strongly support the mentoring program and believe that it is necessary for managerial success. They believe that "mentoring improves the pool of talent for management and technical jobs and helps to shape future leaders. It is also an effective vehicle for moving knowledge through the organization from the people who have the most experience.

Application 11: Assessment Center for Employee Selection at Hamilton-Standard

The Hamilton-Standard Commercial Aircraft Electronics Division of United Technologies manufactures environmental and jet engine control systems for commercial aerospace applications. In 1991, the division moved to Colorado Springs when it was awarded a contract on the Boeing 777. To achieve demanding standards of quality, cost, and time, Hamilton-Standard used a high-involvement work design. This design included a relatively flat hierarchy and self-managed work teams composed of members who were certified in a variety of technical, business, and interpersonal skills. The teams were highly flexible and able to follow the product through all areas of production. Although a number of workers, staff members, and managers moved with the division to Colorado Springs, the increased scale of operations needed for the Boeing contract required hiring and training a large number of new team members over the next eighteen to twenty-four months—a daunting task in a new geographic location. To find the right people for the team-based structure, Hamilton-Standard created an assessment center. It was run by division personnel, including existing team members, staff, and managers, who underwent extensive training to learn how to review resumes, conduct interviews, and assess experiential exercises. The assessment center included a number of activities aimed at evaluating the ability of job applicants to work in teams, make decisions, and learn new skills. Preliminary assessment began with an information session for candidates who submitted resumes to the division. Groups of about 150 applicants engaged in an interactive, two-hour meeting that addressed the firm's products and expectations for new employees. Candidates also discovered what they could expect from Hamilton-Standard in terms of compensation, benefits, work environment, and developmental opportunities. At the end of the session, participants were invited to complete formal job applications, which subsequently were reviewed to identify high-potential candidates who would be asked to participate in the center's evaluation process. The assessment center was designed to evaluate sixty-five to seventy candidates in a single day—typically a Saturday, to accommodate recruits who were employed elsewhere. In the week before they attended the center, candidates completed a battery of tests that measured generic work skills, social competence, and mathematical knowledge. These assessments helped Hamilton-Standard identify applicants' strengths and weaknesses and became part of the data subsequently used to accept or reject candidates. At the assessment center, candidates underwent two interviews—one oriented to technical competence and the other to business knowledge. They also participated in a team-consensus exercise aimed at assessing team skills and decision-making capability. The technical interview presented candidates with a flowchart of the manufacturing process and asked them to identify areas in which they could add value. Their responses enabled interviewers to assess technical depth and breadth, ability to learn, and desire to be crossfunctional. The business interview evaluated candidates' understanding of material flow processes, configuration management, computers, finance, and human resources practices. In the consensus exercise, participants worked in small teams to build a model airplane. Their behaviors were observed and assessed on such team-performance criteria as participation, support of the process, interpersonal skills, quality of thought, and flexibility. At the conclusion of the assessment center activities, results of the tests, interviews, and exercise were entered into a spreadsheet to facilitate comparison among candidates and to help focus selection decisions. Evaluators then met as a team to examine the records, to discuss each candidate, and to make final selections. Consistent with Hamilton-Standard's team-based culture, all hiring decisions were made by group consensus. The assessment center enabled Hamilton-Standard to recruit extremely capable people who fit well with a team-based work structure. In less than two years, the division was able to hire, train, and retain a talented, cross-functional workforce with certified skills covering more than fifty-two areas. To date, the teams have been effective at improving customer-acceptance rates while lowering costs, thus making Hamilton- Standard a highly competitive supplier of aerospace electronics. Research suggests that mentoring is relatively prevalent in organizations. A survey of 1,250 top executives showed that about two-thirds had a mentor or sponsor during their early career stages, when learning, growth, and advancement were most prominent. The executives reported that effective mentors were

willing to share knowledge and experience, were knowledgeable about the company and the use of power, and were good counselors. In contrast to executives who did not have mentors, those having them received slightly more compensation, had more advanced college degrees, had engaged in career planning prior to mentoring, and were more satisfied with their careers and their work. Although research shows that mentoring can have positive outcomes, artificially creating such relationships when they do not occur naturally is difficult. Some organizations have developed workshops in which managers are trained to become effective mentors. Others, such as IBM and AT&T, include mentoring as a key criterion for paying and promoting managers. In a growing number of cases, companies are creating special mentoring programs for women and minorities who have traditionally had difficulties cultivating developmental relationships.

Developmental Training:

This intervention helps employees gain the skills and knowledge for training and coaching others. It may include workshops and training materials oriented to human relations, communications, active listening, and mentoring. It can also involve substantial investments in education, such as tuition reimbursement programs that assist members in achieving advanced degrees. Developmental training interventions generally are aimed at increasing the organization's reservoir of skills and knowledge. This enhances its capability to implement personal and organizational strategies. A large number of organizations offer developmental training programs, including Procter & Gamble, Cisco Systems, IBM, and Hewlett-Packard. Many of these efforts are directed at mid-career managers who generally have good technical skills but only rudimentary experience in coaching others. In-house developmental training typically involves preparatory reading, short lectures, experiential exercises, and case studies on such topics as active listening, defensive communication, personal problem solving, and supportive relationships. Participants may be videotaped training and coaching others, and the tapes may be reviewed and critiqued by participants and staff. Classroom learning is often rotated with on-the-job experiences, and there is considerable follow-up and recycling of learning. Numerous consulting firms also offer workshops and structured learning materials on developmental training, and an extensive practical literature exists in this area.

Work-Life Balance Planning:

This relatively new OD intervention helps employees better integrate and balance work and home life. Restructuring, downsizing, and increased global competition have contributed to longer work hours and more stress. Baby-boomers approaching fifty years of age and others are rethinking their priorities and seeking to restore some balance in a work-dominated life. Organizations, such as Corning Glass Works, Hewlett-Packard, Infonet, and the City of Phoenix, are responding to these concerns so they can attract, retain, and motivate the best workforce. More balanced work and family lives can benefit both employees and the company through increased creativity, morale, and effectiveness, and reduced turnover. Work-life balance planning involves a variety of programs to help members better manage the interface between work and family. These include such organizational practices as flexible hours, job sharing, and day care, as well as interventions to help employees identify and achieve both career and family goals. A popular program is called middlaning, a metaphor for a legitimate, alternative career track that acknowledges choices about living life in the "fast lane Middlaning helps people redesign their work and income-generating activities so that more time and energy are available for family and personal needs. It involves education in work addiction, guilt, anxiety, and perfectionism; skill development in work contract negotiation; examination of alternatives such as changing careers, freelancing, and entrepreneuring; and exploration of options for controlling financial pressures by improving income/expense ratios, limiting "black hole" worries such as college tuition for children and retirement expenses, and replacing financial worrying with financial planning. Because concerns about work-life balance are unlikely to abate and may even increase in the near future, we can expect requisite OD interventions, such as middlaning, to proliferate throughout the public and private sectors.

Job Rotation and Challenging Assignments:

The purpose of these interventions is to provide employees with the experience and visibility needed for career advancement or with the challenge needed to revitalize a stagnant career at the maintenance stage. Unlike job pathing, which specifies a sequence of jobs to reach a career objective, job rotation and challenging assignments are less planned and may not be as oriented to promotion opportunities.

Members in the advancement stage

may be moved into new job areas after they have demonstrated competence in a particular work specialty. Companies such as Corning Glass Works, Hewlett-Packard, American Crystal Sugar Company, and Fidelity Investments identify "comers" (managers under forty years

old with potential for assuming top management positions) and "hipos" (high-potential candidates) and provide them with cross-divisional job experiences during the advancement stage. These job transfers provide managers with a broader range of skills and knowledge as well as opportunities to display their managerial talent to a wider audience of corporate executives. Such exposure helps the organization identify members who are capable of handling senior executive responsibilities; it helps the members decide whether to seek promotion to higher positions or to particular departments. To reduce the risk of transferring employees across divisions or functions, some firms, such as Procter & Gamble, Heublein, and Continental Can, have created "fallback positions. These jobs are identified before the transfer, and employees are guaranteed that they can return to them without negative consequences if the transfers or promotions do not work out. Fallback positions reduce the risk that employees in the advancement stage will become trapped in a new job assignment that is neither challenging nor highly visible in the company.

In the maintenance stage

, challenging assignments can help revitalize veteran employees by providing them with new challenges and opportunities for learning and contribution. Research on enriched jobs suggests that people are most responsive to them during the first one to three years on a job, when enriched jobs are likely to be seen as challenging and motivating. People who have leveled off and remain on enriched jobs for three years or more tend to become unresponsive to them. They are no longer motivated and satisfied by jobs that may no longer seem enriched. One way to prevent this loss of job motivation, especially among mid-career employees who are likely to remain on jobs for longer periods of time than people in the establishment and advancement phases, is to rotate workers to new, more challenging jobs at about three-year intervals, or to redesign their jobs at those times. Such job changes would keep employees responsive to challenging jobs and sustain motivation and satisfaction during the maintenance phase. A growing body of research suggests that "plateaued employees" (those with little chance of further advancement) can have satisfying and productive careers if they accept their new role in the company and are given challenging assignments with high performance standards. Planned rotation to jobs requiring new skills can provide that challenge. However, a firm's business strategy and humans resources philosophy must reinforce lateral (as opposed to strictly vertical) job changes if plateaued employees are to adapt effectively to their new jobs. Firms with business strategies emphasizing stability and efficiency of operations, such as the U.S. Post Office and McDonald's, are likely to have more plateaued employees at the maintenance stage than are companies with strategies promoting development and growth, such as Microsoft and Intel. The human resources systems of firms with stable growth strategies should be especially aimed at helping plateaued employees lower their aspirations for promotion and withdraw from the tournament mobility track. Moreover, such firms should enforce high performance standards so that high-performing plateaued employees (solid citizens) are rewarded, and low performers (deadwood) are encouraged to seek help or to leave the firm.

Dual-Career Accommodations:

These are practices for helping employees cope with the problems inherent in "dual careers"—that is, both the employee and a spouse or significant other pursuing full-time careers. Dual careers are becoming more prevalent as women increasingly enter the workforce. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that more than 80 percent of all marriages involve dual careers. Although these interventions can apply to all career stages, they are especially relevant during advancement. One of the biggest problems created by dual careers is job transfers, which are likely to occur during the advancement stage. Transfer to another location usually means that the working partner must also relocate. In many cases, the company employing the partner must either lose the employee or arrange a transfer to the same location. Similar problems can occur in recruiting employees. A recruit may not join an organization if its location does not provide career opportunities for the partner. Because partners' careers can affect the recruitment and advancement of employees, organizations are devising policies to accommodate dual-career employees. A survey of companies reported the following dual-career accommodations: recognition of problems in dual careers, help with relocation, flexible working hours, counseling for dual-career employees, family daycare centers, improved career planning, and policies making it easier for two members of the same family to work in the same organization or department. Some companies have also established cooperative arrangements with other firms to provide sources of employment for the other partner. General Electric, for example, has created a network with other firms to share information about job opportunities for dual-career couples.

Consultative Roles:

These provide late-career employees with opportunities to apply their wisdom and knowledge to helping others develop in their careers and solve organizational problems. Such roles, which can be structured around specific projects or problems, involve Offering advice and expertise to those responsible for resolving the issues. For example, a large aluminum forging manufacturer was having problems developing

accurate estimates of the cost of producing new products. The sales and estimating departments lacked the production experience to make accurate bids for potential new business, thus either losing customers or losing money on products. The company temporarily assigned an old-line production manager who was nearing retirement to consult with the salespeople and estimators about bidding on new business. The consultant applied his years of forging experience to help the sales and estimating people make more accurate estimates. In about a year, the sales staff and estimators gained the skills and invaluable knowledge necessary to make more accurate bids. Perhaps equally important, the pre-retirement production manager felt that he had made a significant contribution to the company—something he had not experienced for years. In contrast to mentoring roles, consultative roles are not focused directly on guiding or sponsoring younger employees' careers. They are directed at helping others deal with complex problems or projects. Similarly, in contrast to managerial positions, consultative roles do not include the performance evaluation and control inherent in being a manager. They are based more on wisdom and experience than on authority. Consequently, consultative roles provide an effective transition for moving pre-retirement managers into more support-staff positions. They free up managerial positions for younger employees while allowing older managers to apply their experience and skills in a more supportive and less threatening way than might be possible from a strictly managerial role. When implemented well, consultative roles can increase the organization's problem-solving capacity. They enable experienced employees to apply their skills and knowledge to resolving important problems, and can increase members' work satisfaction in the maintenance or withdrawal career stages. They provide senior employees with meaningful work as they begin to move from the workforce to retirement.

Phased Retirement:

This provides older employees with an effective way of withdrawing from the organization and establishing a productive leisure life. It includes various forms of part-time work. Employees gradually devote less of their time to the organization and more time to leisure pursuits (which to some might include developing a new career). Phased retirement allows older employees to make a gradual transition from organizational to leisure life. It enables them to continue contributing to the firm while it gives them time to establish themselves outside of work. For example, people may use the extra time off work to take courses, to gain new skills and knowledge, and to create opportunities for productive leisure. IBM, for example, offers tuition rebates for courses on any topic taken within three years of retirement. Many IBM pre-retirees have used this program to prepare for second careers. Equally important, phased retirement lessens the reality shock often experienced by those who retire all at once. It helps employees grow accustomed to leisure life and withdraw emotionally from the organization. A growing number of companies have some form of phased retirement.

Organization Decline and Career Halt:

Decreasing and uneven demand for products and services; growing numbers of mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, and failures; and increasing restructurings to operate leaner and more efficiently have resulted in layoffs, reduced job opportunities, and severe career disruptions for a large number of managers and employees. People inevitably experience a halt in their career development and progression, resulting in dangerous increases in personal stress, financial and family disruption, and loss of self-esteem. Fortunately, a growing number of organizations are managing decline in ways that are effective for both the organization and the employee. Organizations have also developed human resources practices for managing decline in those situations where layoffs are unavoidable, such as plant closings, divestitures, and business failures. The following methods can help people deal more effectively with layoffs and premature career halts:
Equitable layoff policies spread throughout organizational ranks, rather than focused on specific levels of employees, such as shop-floor workers or middle managers
Keeping people informed about organizational problems and possibilities of layoffs so that they can reduce ambiguity and prepare themselves for job changes
Setting realistic expectations, rather than offering excessive hope and promises, so that employees can plan for the organization's future and for their own
Generous relocation and transfer policies that help people make the transition to a new work situation
Helping people find new jobs, including outplacement services and retraining
Treating people with dignity and respect, rather than belittling or humiliating them because they are unfortunate enough to be in a declining business that can no longer afford to employ them.

In today's environment, organization decline, downsizing, and restructuring will continue. OD practitioners are likely to become increasingly involved in helping people manage career dislocation and halt.

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