For many of us, career progression isn’t just important – it’s essential.
Whilst salary often tops the list when it comes to considerations for a new role, being able to see a clear path for moving forward is never far behind.
But although it’s easy to promise progression on paper, many companies find it difficult to demonstrate it day-to-day, which can have an impact on morale – and staff retention.
To safeguard against selling your organisation short, here’s some help on giving your employees the career progression they’re looking for:
The key to managing effective progression is planning.
Not only is it a great way to demonstrate to your staff that you really care about their career, it’s also a vital tool in tracking performance.
Aim to sit down with each member of your team, and come up with some clear personal career objectives that they want to achieve over the next quarter. Good questions to ask include:
Where do you want to go in your career?
When do you want to get there by?
What new skills do you want to acquire?
What weaknesses do you want to work on?
Once you have an idea of where they want to get to, come up with some actions that will enable them to reach their goals.
It’s essential they are achievable and measurable – and each one has a clear time frame.
That way you’ll be able to keep an eye on the progress of each employee. And they’ll be able to see that their career is actually moving forward.
Once you’ve come up with a plan, you need to help your employees achieve it.
A key ingredient is often training and development – which could include everything from enrolling team members on a course to giving them opportunities for work shadowing.
And it doesn’t have to be a drain on your finances either.
Not only are there a good range of free courses available to get them started, online resources like Codeacademy, Moz and Duolingo can help your staff improve everything from tech skills to time management to learning a new language.
Another way to consider helping develop your staff is to pass the initiative to them: try encouraging them to write a blog, for instance, or build their own site or try volunteering. The more new skills we learn, the more enriched we are as employees.
All of these can help upskill – and reenergise – your workforce. And with options out there to suit every industry (and budget), there’s no excuse not to start seeing what’s available.
Finally, it’s not enough to talk about progression – you actually need to put your money where your mouth is.
An important part of that task could be to more effectively communicating new vacancies internally -as well as externally.
Promoting from within can be an excellent way to prove you believe in furthering your employees’ long term career paths, whilst also keeping staff turnover to a minimum and maintaining your company culture.
And it doesn’t just have to mean promotion. It could also come down to offering secondments, or setting up networking and social events to encourage communication across teams.
Other easy-to-roll-out initiatives could include hack days, offering more flexible working hours, which will allow employees to study outside of work, or setting aside a short amount of work time a week to concentrate on personal development.
Although changes like this may seem small, they can make a big difference when it comes to employee happiness – and engagement. You’ll even start reaping the rewards when it comes to your recruitment, allowing you to shout about every internal initiative you have to encourage growth.
So, with more productive employees, and an even more effective hiring process, don’t just promote career progression – guarantee it.
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