Skillsoft Blog

Career Development: the Crumb that Feeds Flocks

By Julie Winkle Gulioni

 I’ve always been horrified by the expression, ‘kill two birds with one stone.’ So, I prefer to reframe the idea in terms of ‘feeding two birds with one crumb’. But, when it comes to career development, that’s a crumb that feeds full flocks!

Career development might be the most multi-purpose strategy leaders have to drive exceptional results. In fact, many of the metrics that matter most to organizations are the outcomes of effective career development.

  • Engagement – Countless surveys confirm a direct connection between career development and higher levels of engagement. Not surprisingly, Gallup’s State of the American Manager study reveals that employee who feel that their managers are invested in them as people are more likely to be engaged than those who don’t.
  • Job Satisfaction – Korn Ferry has found a link between career development and job satisfaction. And we know that when employees are satisfied, customers are much more likely to be satisfied as well.
  • Retention – As the war for talent heats up, leaders will become increasingly concerned about retention. The Corporate Leadership Council’s research suggests that managers who effectively develop their employees can increase retention by 40%.
  • Revenue – Josh Bersin of Bersin by Deloitte has found that “companies with superior talent management practices generate 26% higher revenue per employee than their peers.”

Perhaps research-based conclusions such as these will help garner greater support for career development. Perhaps seeing how it directly contributes to some of the most important issues and priorities facing organizations today will help make it a mission-critical priority. Perhaps managers who previously believed they didn’t have time for career development will invest the handful of minutes it really takes to help people grow. Perhaps we’ll begin to appreciate that career development just might be the single most high-leverage and high-impact act a manager can engage in. And perhaps we will see career development as a crumb – just a small investment – that feeds a flock of organizations and individual needs.

Get Julie’s insight on how to help your employees grow in this Human Capital Institute webinar, “Help them Grow of Watch them Go.”


Julie Winkle Giulioni has spent the past 25 years improving performance through learning. She’s partnered with hundreds of organizations to develop and deploy innovative leadership training solutions that are in use worldwide. Prior to co-founding DesignArounds 15 years ago, Julie was director of product development for AchieveGlobal, one of the world’s largest commercial training companies. She also held multiple training leadership roles and was a department chair and professor at the Southern California University.

Julie was named one of Inc. Magazine’s top 100 leadership speakers and received the Global HR Excellence Award for Strategic Leadership from the World HR Congress earlier this year.

She is the co-author of the Amazon and Washington Post bestseller, Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go: Career Conversations Employees Want, a respected speaker on a variety of topics, and a regular contributor to many business publications.

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