To be a competitor in today’s market, employers must look at their internal profile from all angles. For example, it is not enough to boast about remote work opportunities when the premiums for private benefits are astronomical, or to offer a high-paying salary in a toxic work culture.
Once a candidate becomes a new hire, that is just the beginning – now we move from attracting talent to retaining talent. A major key to employee retention is career development. Employees want to work for employers who are invested in their growth. In fact, “a lack of career growth opportunities is often one of the main reasons people quit their jobs: 63% of U.S. workers who quit their jobs last year cited a lack of advancement opportunities as one of the main reasons for their departure, according to one poll from Pew Research Center, which surveyed nearly 10,000 Americans in February 2022.”
Whether you are starting anew and want to build a new program, or improve your current career services and development, keep reading on to find out how your company can support employees along different stages of their careers.
The narrative is “learn a skill, get a job” and the train stops there. But what if your employees want to keep learning new skills, job related or otherwise? Employers who offer tuition reimbursement, sponsor coursework towards certifications, or work with mentors and/or coaches to improve soft skills show support for the personal and professional growth of their staff. This investment in continued education could lead to greater retention.
Leadership training can be offered to any leader or staff member with leadership interest in your organization. The greatest thing about this training is that it comes in many forms – workshops, courses, coaching and more! It often spans over several months, so there is plenty of time for participants to develop key skills that are measurable and tracked. Best of all, your company benefits from having more competent, understanding, empathetic, and strong leaders. Course content can often be customized to your organization’s pain points and address common industry topics, such as managing different generations, handling The Great Resignation, Engaging a Remote Team, etc.
Communication is a key component to career development. Waiting for an annual conversation is a rookie mistake many veteran employers make, leaving staff questioning their progress throughout the year. Establishing trust during regular check-in sessions and engaging your team to share their career goals will help leaders and direct reports feel confident that change is real and possible. Once action follows, the culture of the organization will reflect one of reliability and support. Communication is an important building block in the foundation of career development.
Promote from Within
Whenever possible, look internally before you outsource for talent on the open market. As you develop your staff, check to see who may be ready for their next step forward and encourage movement both upward and lateral. Internal movement is a great morale booster and also helps with retention.
“According to LinkedIn’s 2018 Workplace Learning Report (download required), 94% of employees surveyed said they would stay at a job longer if they were offered pathways for career development.”. Career development is an important factor in employee satisfaction and retention as well as organizational success.
To execute it well requires attentive managers who are willing and able to invest in their people. It is also a team effort that involves transparency at the organizational level about expectations and career pathways, as well as open lines of communication among departments. Review what your company is currently doing and look for ways to improve retention, productivity, and employee satisfaction.