In today’s evolving paradigms of modern work, the role of organizations in charting out promising career pathways has never been more vital. Beyond the conventional employer-employee relationship, organizations have emerged as the architects of employees' aspirations, possessing the blueprint that guides their professional ambitions. As the dynamics of the workforce change, with personal goals of employees coming to the forefront, the value of a well-defined and supportive career trajectory has transcended, from being a mere advantage – to a strategic necessity. Training through both internal and external methodologies is being executed in organizations to propel employees to take new initiatives and be comfortable with various measures for upskilling.
Industry experts have time and again stressed upon the significance of providing strong career growth within organizations. Owing to their numerous years of experience in the field of people management where they have learnt the knack through trial and error, four experts catering to different sectors have provided pathways for their teams to grow as professionals and as teams in a thriving environment of innovation, expansion, and shared achievements. These ‘People’ initiatives have ensured a productive working environment, but significantly it has impacted the top line.
While emphasizing the need to invest in human resources, Shahrukh Masood, Chief People Officer, Martin Dow Group, stressed that with changing times, the people management ecosystem is bound to adopt a holistic approach. “In today's evolving work environment, we embrace a personalized and individual-driven approach that accommodates the unique ambitions of our employees. Our customized perspective consists of a two-way dialogue between the organization and its members, where the input of employees is welcomed and appreciated,” he shared. Shahrukh said being a leading pharmaceutical company, Martin Dow Group places high priority on talent enrichment, striving to nurture personal and professional growth. The organization looks at a variety of collaborative learning experiences, extensive training sessions, and tailored development programs. The organization is particularly focused on aligning business goals by incorporating strategic training initiatives into employee development cycles. These initiatives cover a wide range of training categories including functional training, enhancement of professional capabilities, and meeting mandatory training requirements. Together, these components form a cohesive strategy designed to foster employee skill development, enabling a continuous journey of growth and improvement. Referring to one of the many initiatives taken by his organization, Shahrukh mentioned Leadership Execution and Action Planning (LEAP) - a professional coaching program that has helped his colleagues evolve as collaborative professionals who excel in their respective fields.
Samia Qamar, Director People, S&P Global Pakistan, shared how learning through collaboration was prioritized by assigning international and local employees to work together on projects fostering teamwork and knowledge exchange. She highlighted that this partnership in learning and accomplishment strengthened the sense of ownership and pride. Their teams became well versed in global practices and confident of their ideas. “Our EssentialTECH program provides opportunities to continuously learn the latest tech skills and earn certifications and points. ‘Career Coaching Week’ is another asset that has worked wonders. Robust career growth being the objective, this initiative actively supports people's professional development through a team of career coaches catering to business needs. These accessible sessions offer private discussions on career goals, independent of managerial involvement,” she elaborated.
Known amongst world’s renowned organizations for providing credit ratings, benchmarks, analytics and workflow solutions in the global capital, commodity, and automotive markets, S&P Global has had its operations in Pakistan for over two decades. The organization, aligning with its international standards of people management, adheres to various strategies on cultivating talent. Known for their innovative approach towards recruitment and strong focus on well-being,
Telco’s strong connection with IT has made them one of the fastest growing industries now. VEON Group’s Jazz places significant emphasis on enhancing the learning and development of its employees. Dubbed as the biggest organization in the telecommunication industry in Pakistan, it promises a strong trajectory propelled by continuous professional development.
Tazeen Shahid, their Chief People Officer while commenting on the importance of investing in HR, said wellness remains a key element in fostering a productive and energized workforce dedicated to both organizational objectives and personal growth. “As Pakistan’s largest digital operator, Jazz is committed to improving the lives and livelihoods of the people of Pakistan. This includes first and foremost our employees who remain the largest shareholders in our success. Given the era of the 4th Industrial revolution, upskilling our colleagues with digital skills remains our utmost priority. Embedding a culture of continuous learning is what we strive for at an employee and organizational level”, she said. Tazeen spoke about the launch of Jazz Digital Academy to empower the workforce with essential skills. The academy offers e-learning programs with a focus on foundational courses initially, aligning employees with Jazz's DO1440 strategy. It also aims to cover expert courses in areas such as data analytics, cybersecurity, user experience design, blockchain, and cloud computing.
Another good example is British Council Pakistan, an international organization for cultural relations and educational opportunities. British Council has been the logistical partner for educational institutions offering Cambridge curriculum and examinations and as such enjoys a national level footprint in Pakistan. Tanzeela Hussain, Senior HR Business Partner, Global Exam British Council Pakistan, feels that in the 21st century a successful career trajectory is no longer defined by a linear climb, but by a commitment to lifelong learning. “At the British Council, we are encouraging our people to embrace continuous growth by providing them with opportunities for mentoring, coaching and on the job learning. Platforms such as LinkedIn Learning are revolutionizing our approach to skills development. The British Council has made a resolve to ensure that all line managers are held accountable for promoting a learning culture in their teams and this is one of the most important KPIs for all leaders. In a rapidly changing and unpredictable landscape, it is the ability to adopt and embrace new ways of working that becomes the true key to achieving lasting success and fulfillment,” she remarked. The organization offers an array of learning opportunities tailored to aid staff in reaching their unique development objectives. Managers are actively encouraged to support team members in realizing their full potential. The range of learning and development options encompasses on-the-job training, coaching, mentoring, face-to-face workshops, digital learning resources, and a comprehensive career development toolkit.
The digital age has effectively shrunk the world, enabling organizations to tap into the best minds from around the globe. With online collaboration tools and remote work options, physical location is no longer the primary consideration. Companies must recognize the importance of retaining their top talent by offering competitive benefits, fostering a dynamic work culture, and providing opportunities for skill growth. The ability to harness talent irrespective of geographic boundaries not only enhances innovation but also positions businesses to thrive in the increasingly interconnected and competitive global landscape.
Amidst the global tide of inflation and the uncertainties of recession, the compass guiding employees towards a promising career pathway becomes not just a navigation tool, but a lifeline. Organizations that understand the profound impact of these economic challenges are presented with a unique opportunity to provide their teams with stability, direction, and growth. Shaping these pathways transcends mere route mapping; it entails strengthening resilience, nurturing innovation, and fostering loyalty amidst challenges. As organizations light the path forward, they not only safeguard employees' futures but also kindle a beacon of hope, piercing through economic turbulence. This reminds us that progress is not only achievable but imperative when guided by the right course.
The write is a Islamabad-based journalist