When it comes to recruiting and managing employees, career growth is always a hot topic.
While salary often tops the list for many workers, establishing a clear path towards greater success and profession isn’t too far behind for a lot of people.
In fact, according to a survey by Glassdoor, it’s ranked number two in the top five biggest considerations job seekers take into account before accepting a job offer.
This is just behind salary and ahead of work-life balance, location, company culture and values.
Glassdoor also revealed that a lack of career growth was the core reason why 46% of Millennials left their last job.
So what are the short and long-term solutions?
To ensure that you’re giving your employees the career growth and future they want right from their very first day at your company, I’ve put together some key pointers for you to implement.
Make a plan
As Hannibal from the A-Team says: “I love it when a plan comes together” – and I couldn’t agree more.
The secret to mapping out progression and growth is to create a thorough plan for every employee.
This will not only demonstrate to them that you really value them in the short and long-term, but it’ll also provide you with a vital tool to track their performance over the coming years.
It may seem like a lot of hassle and tricky if your business is constantly evolving or taking new directions.
But to an employee, it’s a safety net in case a particular manager leaves and they need to fight their corner on pay rises, progression and job security.
Giving an employee a plan is essentially providing them with peace of mind that you see them as an integral piece of your company’s future.
You should sit down with every new and existing employee to get to know their individual goals.
- Where do you want to end up In your career?
- Realistically, when do you want to achieve this goal?
- What skills do you require to achieve it?
- Are there any weaknesses that you want to improve?
Once you find out the answers to these questions, you can start to create a framework for them to work off. However, you should always make sure that they aren’t unrealistic and can be measured over time.
This plan should include:
- A goal – where the employee wants to be.
- Stepping stone roles – the positions they need to succeed in before they reach their desired one.
- Actions – what they need to do to achieve their goal.
- Extra training – any necessary courses they need to take to get to where they want to be.
The next step to ensure your employees’ career growth is to deliver ongoing development opportunities.
While a plan is a perfect starting point, the proof really is in the pudding (or eating).
In other words, employees want to see a clear effort made by the business to help them advance and learn.
If you’re working on a tighter budget, you should look into free courses on Moz or Google.
The chances are that your employees don’t have enough time to do these courses in their own time.
So by simply offering them the chance to do it within work hours will really mean a lot to those who are hungry to grow and accelerate their careers.
One study even found that two out of three UK workers have changed job because of a lack of training and development opportunities.
Upskilling is a common trend in a lot of businesses today, as it not only opens up the door for new career opportunities for employees, but it can help fill the skills shortage in certain industries.
Another idea of training and career growth opportunity is to incentivise an employee’s job.
As a result, your employees will feel motivated to reach the next step in their career plan as there is a clear end point in sight. And it’s pretty good for productivity rates too!
You can find out more about this in our previous blog: ‘Why You Should Provide Training For Your Employees’.
Practice what you preach
Delivering a substantial career plan and various training opportunities are one thing, but actually giving your employees the chance to progress is imperative.
If a new role presents itself, you should always advertise it internally before broadcasting it to new candidates.
You might find that some of your employees will recognise it as a unique chance to progress, grow and take one step closer to their end goal.
As I mentioned before, upskilling is very common and an effective means to save money within a business too.
Other ways to reinforce employees career growth opportunities is to set up networking events and training/social days for them to develop personal relationships in and out of the business. Focusing on this can make a big difference in helping an employee take their next step on the career ladder..
Final things to remember
To offer your new and existing employees the career growth they want, it’s a matter of taking action.
Where many businesses go wrong is the fact that they don’t value what they have until its (or they) are gone.
If you show a clear route for them to progress and/or at least invest time into trying to make it happen, your staff will remain loyal and continue to work hard for your company.
In other words, you scratch their back and they’ll scratch yours!
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