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Amoco's 7 Design Factors for a Better Career System

February 1, 1996
Related Topics: Career Development, Employee Career Development, Featured Article
Amoco's Career Management (ACM) process has enjoyed unusually high visibility and positive early response from Amoco employees and managers. Asked to reflect on the reason for this success, members of the design partnership identified the following factors:

  • ACM was initially well-positioned by the company as a response to business needs. Thus, it received early top managerial endorsement.
  • The system was envisioned as part of a change process, not a one-time training event.
  • Although the design process was lengthy, employee participation was high. Amoco concludes the payoff of good design is consistent employee buy-in into the system.
  • Beginning with the strategic renewal initiative, employees were encouraged to be more active in their development. Throughout the process, roles and responsibilities are defined. Career advisors (team leaders and supervisors) serve as information sources; they don't supplant supervisors, whose people-development behaviors are now tied to variable pay.
  • Business units are empowered to put their own mark on the system. Business unit managers have responsibility for the system's implementation, thereby ensuring it remains line-owned.
  • To avoid a job-shopping situation, ACM offers concrete development aids along with its electronic job-posting system. Assessment and planning precede job canvassing.
  • Baseline data collected from approximately 1,200 individuals have enabled ongoing refinements and changes to ACM. Because evaluation is viewed as a feature of Amoco's continuous improvement process, not an end in itself, its usage is focused and practical.

Personnel Journal, February 1996, Vol. 75, No. 2, p. 81.

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