To a lot of employees, career growth is imperative.
In fact, Glassdoor ranked it as number two in the top five biggest considerations job seekers take into account before accepting a job offer.
This falls just behind salary and ahead of work-life balance, location, company culture and values.
Furthermore, the same study also revealed that a lack of career growth is the core reason why 46% of Millennials left their last job.
Luckily, it’s not all doom and gloom.
By taking proactive steps and implementing a simple framework into your business, you’ll provide your employees with the career growth opportunities they may well desire.
Mapping out their progression and future goals are essential in giving an employee purpose at your business.
Ditch the wishy-washy generic ones and ask them (without casting judgement), where they want to be in the next year.
This way, you can evaluate how the business is evolving and give them a realistic goal to work towards.
Whether that’s obtaining a more senior position within the company or completing a series of training programmes to push them closer to where they want to be.
Giving an employee a plan says and does two things:
- It gives them peace of mind knowing they have something to fall back on if a manager leaves the business or is replaced.
- Tells them that you care and value them within the business.
As a starting point, try asking them a few questions to establish their own personal 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 have the answers, you’ll be able to start constructing a realistic and viable plan for the next quarter or year ahead.
This plan should consist of:
- A goal – where the employee wants to be in the next year.
- Any stepping stones – the positions or roles they need to succeed in before they reach their desired one.
- Actions – what they need to do to achieve their goal.
- Further training – any programmes or qualifications they need to take to obtain before they can reach their end goal.
Constant development opportunities
The next way to keep your employees motivated and satisfied with their career growth is giving them constant opportunities to develop.
If the plan is the starting point, the opportunities you deliver is definitely the proof that you’re willing to support your employees.
Naturally, you could argue that you’re not “financially investing” in your employees, but the main factor is that you are “investing”.
You see, you’re giving them the time within work hours to learn and develop themselves.
You’ll be surprised by how many people value this as a real positive, as they don’t have the time outside of work to do this themselves.
And if that doesn’t prove the point that training is key, one study revealed that two out of three UK workers have changed their job because of a lack of training and development opportunities.
Another element to consider is upskilling.
Where there are gaps in certain departments, have you considered utilising the resources that you have around you?
The chances are that you’ll probably have an employee willing or indeed capable of fulfilling a role.
This in itself, will benefit their own growth and the business’ as well.
Go through with it
It’s easy enough to plan and offer ongoing opportunities – but giving your employees a real chance to take a new role is another thing.
As I just mentioned, upskilling is a very common and effective means to save money and keep employees happy.
Companies like Nationwide Building Society often advertise roles internally first, as they like to give their current employees a chance to get in before external candidates apply.
You should also look to arrange networking events and training days to enable staff to feel more content with their job and look out for other opportunities across the business.
After all, developing meaningful relationships can unlock the door further down the line.
Giving your employees a crystal clear path into the future isn’t always realistic or feasible.
However, what you can do is lay the foundations and provide the initial stepping stones.
Just give your employees a direction and the opportunity to further themselves, and the chances are that a majority of them will continue to work hard for you.
For more HR and recruitment tips, don’t forget to subscribe to our blog.