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Electrical Engineers: Career Development

Nature and Causes of the Problem

When analyzing the situation for determining any serious issue in the department of human resources, Mr. Sweeney found out that the turnover of electrical engineers was quite high. As soon as any work opportunities appear, engineers leave the job to improve their working conditions. Therefore, there is a high need for being aware of the situation and trying to improve and subsequently minimize the turnover of employees.

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The cause of the problem was not easy to determine since the Electronic Appliances department paid its employees up to eight percent above the market for the work of electrical engineers. However, upon much deeper analysis, it had become clear that many employees did not feel inspired in their profession, and therefore many workers chose to transfer to the local area competitors.

The example of Helen Morgan helped Mr. Sweeney understand that the company “does not care about its good people” since Helen was a trained professional in the sphere of electronics and did not gen any promotions within the organization (Nkomo, Fottler, & McAfee, 2010, p. 158). Thus, the high employee turnover rates are not only signs of the unstable economy within the company employers simply did not care about the “better people” moving up in the organization.

Directors preferred keeping good employees in their departments to accomplish their own goals, without worrying to invest in any additional training and orientation. For instance, Helen Morgan was an employee that received excellent appraisals without ever being promoted to a higher position. Thus, there are a lot of negative human resource aspects of the company that does not allow employees to exhibit their fullest potential.

Additional Questions and Information

While it is evident that Mr. Sweeney did a thorough analysis of the employees’ perspective on the issues present in the human resources department of the company, namely the high turnover rate of excellent workers, there was very little research conducted on what employers treat the situation. Thus, there is additional information needed on the perspective of managers and directors since they are the ones in power to change the situation concerning the company’s human resources. The following questions can air Mr. Sweeney in gaining more information on how employers treat the issue of high employee turnover:

  • Did the employers hire the right employees for their placements in the very beginning? According to the Wall Street Journal (2009), hiring suitable workers is the most effective way of reducing employee turnover (para. 4).
  • Are there any compensations and benefits set for the employees that deserve it? Mr. Sweeney can work with the human resources data to see whether the management created any benefit categories to keep the rate of employee turnover as low as possible. Also, Mr. Sweeney should find out whether the company’s management reviewed the compensations and benefits regularly.
  • Is there a program that pays attention to the personal needs of employees? It is common knowledge that many employees can leave their job due to the lack of flexibility and inadequate working conditions.
  • Is the working environment positive? In the article in the Wall Street Journal (2009), many employers overlook the importance of creating a positive work environment for their workers (para. 8). Therefore, Mr. Sweeney should ask the management questions about what they do for sustaining a creative and positive atmosphere for their workers.

Organizational and Individual Benefits of a Formalized Career Development System

For any organization, a system of formalized career development can help employers and employees to create a perfect fit between a person and a job as well as using the skills of employees in the positions that are best suitable for them (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2010, p. 6). Additionally, a system of career development can help the management to establish a better and improved communicational framework, especially when it comes to the communication between the directors and the workers of a lower level.

It is also worth mentioning that such a system can boost the company’s reputation as a comfortable place for work. Employees will see that their management has a desire to invest time, funds, and effort into retaining and training their workers, as well as there is a range of available tools for employee success, many more people will be attracted to working for the organization.

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Thus, the most important benefit of a career development system for an organization is the ability to assess the company’s strengths and weaknesses in terms of employment, values, aspirations, skills, and communication, and then improve any issues that occur in the process of the assessment (MSG, n.d., para. 2).

When speaking of a system of career development on an individual level, it can be beneficial for a worker to better assess their performance needs in the future as well as understand their goals and aspirations in their career. Therefore, employees can set expectations for how to accomplish their future goals. Similar to the organizational level, a system of career development in the context of individual employees will increase their level of communication with workers on a higher level. Also, such a system can aid in providing employees with feedback on their professional achievements to boost their productivity and the inspiration for work.

Components for the Formalized Career Development System

If Mr. Sweeney decides to develop a system of formalized careers at the company, it is most suitable to adopt programs of self-assessment, organizational assessment, and developmental assessment. Such an approach will be effective since the various programs will work separately in achieving the desired goals in the set directions, namely, the objective and the personal views, as well as various ways for preparing employees for future improvements in the company.

Taking into account the type of the company in which Mr. Sweeney works, the mentioned areas for improvement are what he should be focused on addressing. It became evident after the interview with the employees that many of them saw themselves as workers that can move forward in their career, but they did not receive any chance to do so. Also, employees sometimes received positive feedback on their performance, ready for promotion, but never got around to being promoted.

With both personal and the objective views on the assessment employees and their management will be able to create a much more personalized and realistic view of how ready the workers are for being promoted to a higher position, what training is needed, as well as what additional working conditions are needed to make the performance much more efficient.

When the self-assessment tools are adopted effectively, Mr. Sweeney can try integrating additional developmental programs that will develop employees for their future promotions. Such programs can be efficiently implemented on both internal and external platforms, under the control of human resource professionals or with the control of independent professionals.

Career Development Activities

Career development programs and activities should no doubt become a part of employee training in the company. However, they will only work if the management has already summarized all the information on individual and organizational self-assessment and identified the needs in the development.

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Career development programs should include activities targeted at the acquisition and usage of new skills and knowledge such as professional development and the mastery of one’s job. Since career development programs take some time in terms of dynamics, workers will need some in-depth engagement on the part of the management for the review and the re-assessment of the goals and the activities on these goals. The company’s leaders should occupy a key place for providing valuable information on the learning resources and activities employees will deal with within the course of the career development programs.

For example, succession training can be a quite suitable career development activity that will ensure much more effective communication between the management and employees, something Electronic Appliances lack. Succession training implies identifying managers as well as employees with managerial skills to cooperate with workers on developing new skills. Therefore, there will be always professionals trained in managing that will have an opportunity to guide the company in achieving its goals (Root, n.d., para. 2). The employee turnover rates will drop since succession training will prevent the company from looking for new talented managers outside the organization.

Promotion and Performance Criteria

For promoting an employee to a higher position, a manager should thoroughly evaluate the candidate and decide on whether he or she is eligible. The criteria for promotions can be highly differentiated based on the type of company. However, in Electronic Appliances a director of the human resources department should evaluate the criteria of vacant positions for promotions, whether an employee in question has the necessary skills to handle the responsibilities that will be newly assigned. Such an ability will be assessed based on the current performance as well as capability levels.

On the other hand, if a human resource manager decides to nominally promote an employee, the primary criterion for the promotion relates to the performance records on the current job as well as the amount of time an employee served at the position. Additionally, the current situation on the job market can also affect whether an employee will be nominally promoted or not. For example, if there is a high demand for professionals in a particular sphere, it is complicated for companies to retain their skilled employees. Therefore, a nominal promotion can be performed so that an employee will receive a higher payment.

For evaluating the performance of supervisors in the development of their subordinates, Mr. Sweeney should look at the criteria of effective communication and understandings, as well as the desire for moving forward towards a mutual goal set by the supervisor and the subordinates. Of course, whether the goal has been achieved or not is also a valuable criterion for evaluating the performance of supervisors in the development of their subordinates. Mr. Sweeney can also conduct interviews with employees on whether their supervisors provided enough leadership skills to facilitate effective career development.


MSG. (n.d.). Benefits of a career development system.

Nkomo, S., Fottler, M., & McAfee, B. (2010). Human resource management applications: Cases, exercises, incidents, and skill builders (7th ed.). Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.

Noe, R., Hollenbeck, J., Gerhart, B., & Wright, P. (2010). Human resource management (9th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

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Root, G. (n.d.). Examples of employee development activities.

The Wall Street Journal. (2009). How to reduce employee turnover.

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