SilkRoad's Blog
Jun 18, 2013

Employees Need a Career Dashboard – Enter Point

By Jaclyn Branch

Today’s guest post comes from Sharlyn Lauby of HR Bartender and ITM Group. For the second year, she’s attended our annual users conference, SilkRoad Connections, and we’re happy to have her share her thoughts on the event.


When I think back on my HR career, I’m fortunate to have had a roadmap. Managers, colleagues, mentors, and coaches who helped me figure out what I wanted to do with my career and in my profession. Given how fast the workplace is changing, I wonder how many people have access to career roadmaps today.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average number of years an employee stays with their current employer is just under five years. The statistic isn’t meant to scare anyone. Quite the contrary, it should challenge businesses to maximize employee productivity during the time an employee is with the company. It means organizations need to put solutions in place to accelerate processes like onboarding and career development. The more effective these processes are, the faster employees can become fully productive.

In order to truly maximize employee productivity, employees should be in a place where they can work independently. Managers are able to delegate work without worrying about whether it will get done on time and with a high degree of quality. It’s about creating a work environment that thrives on autonomy.

SilkRoad has created that career roadmap for employees. It’s called Point. I like to think of it as a career dashboard. For example, when we drive a car, we have our automobile dashboard that tells us things: how fast we’re going, how much gas we have, how many miles we’ve driven. It also offers proactive gauges so our car doesn’t overheat. In essence, our car dashboard helps us drive and get where we want to go.

Point is the same thing. But it drives our career. Here’s a handful of things employees can do with Point.

  • Create a personal learning plan with their manager
  • Sign up for training programs that align with the learning plan
  • Maintain a list of training programs taken
  • Collaborate with other employees (asking questions, giving answers)
  • Read pertinent information about the company and their profession
  • Join groups related to expertise and interests

You see where I’m going with this. The old skool method of career development was for employees to meet individually with a bunch of people and keep a pen/paper notebook with dates and information for future reference. The effectiveness of this method is contingent upon employees actually using those notebooks as a reference tool. With Point, all the information an employee needs to manage their career in the same place – their company computer. And it pops up every single time an employee logs in. It’s convenient, relevant and timely.

The modern workplace wants employees at full productivity as quickly as possible. And they don’t want to hold employee’s hands every step of the way. I believe today’s businesses are looking for employees who can figure some stuff out on their own. If that’s true, then the only way it’s going to happen is if organizations create a means for employees to manage their own careers and work with minimal supervision.

It won’t happen by osmosis. Companies must put solutions in place for employees to find answers.

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