When you’ve spent time finding and hiring the best employees for your Middle Market organization, you want to keep them. You certainly are ready to invest in developing, training & retention. However, you may find your career paths builds employees up to a certain point and then directs them out of your organization. Possibly, you see younger employees are vastly different from their predecessors. Their ideas about career development and growth may differ a lot from previous generations. How can you develop your employee’s career paths to engage and encourage retention?
Stop Thinking About Paths As Straight Lines
For starters, try to stop thinking of a career path as a linear, point A to point B, journey. Not all employees desire to move “up” the corporate ladder. Start looking at what motivates and fuels your staff to design a better process. Remember to keep both the individuals’ and groups’ needs in mind.
Map out all of the options employees have for development. Use the map as a guide to work with individual employees on how to best structure their growth. Start making milestones out of experience or knowledge gains.
Making sure your Middle Market staff know about all new openings is a good start. Hopefully, your internal notification system is robust. If not, now is the time to work on developing it. Employees won’t be searching job boards, the paper and career sites for roles within your company. If they spend time on those areas, they’re searching for a way out.
Also, make career development not only a priority in your organization but something your leadership and management teams talk about frequently. Let each employee know how important it is to your organization that they have outlets to explore, learn and develop new knowledge and skills.
Motivate And Collaborate
Instead of only giving employees a list of roles they could work towards, motivate them to be inquisitive and innovative. You can’t have a team full of leaders, so instead let it be known that learning and improving in a current role is just as important as moving onto something new. Reward innovation and drive home the fact that learning is not only essential but makes an employee more desirable – internally and to the outside world.
In some organizations, management hoards prized employees and tries to keep them hidden from other areas. Instead of allowing this to happen, encourage leaders to utilize the knowledge and talents of these employees to refine and adapt processes as well as for documentation and training processes. Create a collaborative energy such that all managers know what is happening in other departments and actively seek out opportunities to share talents and successful employees with other areas.
Your organization will not only benefit, but star employees will get an opportunity to explore, learn and grow and in the process will feel more engaged and needed.
When your Middle Market organization takes the time to refine and redefine your career path options, you’ll likely find employee engagement and longevity both increase.
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