Case Study – Engaging Employees in Career Planning and Development

The Client

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) is a non-profit organization that provides products and services to graduate management schools around the world. It is a professional development organization that is the leading source of research and information about quality management education.

The Challenge/Opportunity

GMAC has very high employee retention and well-engaged employees who are committed to GMAC’s success. After a rapid growth period, the leadership at GMAC wanted to evaluate their existing career paths, promotions, and development processes. The ultimate goal was to provide valuable development resources to their employees to help them own and navigate their careers while reinforcing GMAC’s commitment to professional development.

The Solution

The Springboard team conducted an extensive analysis to uncover what employees wanted from GMAC for their continued career development. The analysis included a series of focus groups and interviews that reached out to almost 75% of all GMAC employees. Simultaneously, the GMAC internal team conducted a survey to gather additional information. The survey, interviews, and focus groups surfaced useful details on the current and desired state around career planning/management, professional development, promotions, and career paths within GMAC.

The Results

By analyzing this data, the Springboard team shared a series of recommendations for more structured and engaging talent development approaches at GMAC. We developed several critical tools for career planning and for employee development, including an Individual Development Plan, a Career Guide for employees to consider their long-term career ambitions, and several new operating procedures, including one to provide more structure for the annual promotions process. GMAC employees were able to use the tools to take initiative for their own development while experiencing, first hand, GMAC’s investment in their career growth. Meanwhile GMAC’s leadership and Human Resources team had consistent processes to help set expectations regarding career paths and promotions across the organization.


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