Why Your Company Should Invest in Career Sculpting

Arlene DeSantis Jones - Chief Talent Officer ·

Many companies today face the ongoing challenge of how to retain good talent. The difference between EDSI and other companies facing this challenge is our innovative Career Sculpting program. It has enabled us to retain great employees and ultimately assist in reducing turnover.

The idea for Career Sculpting came to me about 15 years ago after reading an article on retention in the Harvard Business Review. I envisioned creating a way to get to know employees better and understand them on a more personal level; not just what their work positions dictated. Brainstorming and strategy meetings ensued where colleagues and I developed the process we know and utilize at EDSI called Career Sculpting.

At the heart of a successful Career Sculpting program is a team of Career Sculptors – high-performing representatives designated to tap into employees’ skills, goals, interests and passions. This deeper level of knowledge helps ensure that each employee knows their strengths and are working toward their highest potential, with long-term goals in sight.

Over the years, EDSI has become sought after by companies looking for help in building and retaining a steady and solid workforce. If retention is a priority for your company, and you’re unsure how to go about it, here are five ways that your company can begin the Career Sculpting process:

    1. Seek out career sculptors within your company. Have managers designate high-performing representatives who will then be paired with employee referrals. The representatives will act as a liaison between the Talent or HR team. They will communicate specifics about the employee’s career goals and interests to demonstrate that more people beyond their supervisor care about them and want to invest in them long-term. This method is similar to a performance review, yet much more valuable because it’s more like a continuing conversation instead of a yearly or quarterly meeting.
    2. Communicate with each employee. When we take the time to really listen, we gain insight and understanding into each person’s individual strengths, preferences and so much more. This is very important in helping each person develop or strengthen not only their skills, but their passions, both professionally and personally. Through continuous dialogue, they might learn that they excel in an area they never ever considered.
    3. Educate employees on possible career paths or growth opportunities. Based on employees’ skills and interests, explore the question: “What could your future career path look like?” Encourage them to attend meetings or training sessions related to their areas of interest. Take advantage of skills-based testing methods and assessments like the one EDSI uses – Skilldex. Other options would be mentoring or job shadowing, if offered by your company.
    4. Help employees make connections to potential job or projects. Look for cross-functional opportunities in different areas even when there isn’t a specific job opening. Does a department or team member need additional resources to get a project out the door? Maybe an employee would love to contribute their skills to the team. This is important to do before they become unchallenged or unmotivated.
    5. Take the Talent Assessment. You’ll receive a report with specific information on how your company is doing in five critical areas related to talent, including: Assessing, Attracting, Developing, Retaining and Sustaining. The report also shows how your overall talent management strategy compares to other companies.

These five steps are a good way to get your company started on the Career Sculpting journey. Of course, EDSI is here to support you every step of the way and would love to help you dig deeper to develop a more comprehensive and customized plan for your company.

The powerful thing about Career Sculpting is that it can bring people together who might not otherwise ever connect. I get chills thinking about the camaraderie and common vision that I’ve seen develop as a result of our Career Sculpting initiatives.

The possibilities with Career Sculpting are endless. Ideally, we want employees to stay for the long haul. It’s better for the culture, for the work and ultimately, for the bottom line. We have found that when employees feel heard, are challenged in their work, and supported in their personal lives, they will be most fulfilled and successful in their jobs, which is a win-win for the employee and the company.