This is the second blog in a series of five.
In January I heard a keynote by Jamie Taets of Keystone Group International about going “beyond the paycheck.” Her talk focused on helping us, as leaders in our organizations, understand that paying people well is not enough. To retain top talent, we need to do more. What most resonated with me were her five reasons why people leave their jobs (her information came from the American Progress Organization). The reasons were all spot on and I have seen each and every one of them in action. Using her talk as inspiration, I’ve decided to write a blog series on those five reasons and how you, as a business owner, can address them.
This week we’ll be addressing the lack of career development opportunity.
Clarity of opportunity is a key element in a healthy organization. Employees that don’t have a clear career path laid out for them may start to feel stagnant and may even get bored. The workforce today is full of “job hoppers”. These are people who are eager to learn and grow and they will often leave a job simply because they feel it’s time to move on to the next thing. If they aren’t getting fulfillment or being challenged, they are quick to jump ship.
An easy way to address this issue is to lay out career paths for each role. Yes you might be an engineer your whole career, but you can move from Engineer I to Engineer II all the way up to Engineering Specialist. The title is not the important part, laying out what milestones can be reached in a given career track is. Let people know what that next bar of performance is and help them develop a path to get there. What training is involved? What skills do they need to develop? What experience do they need to gain?
What it really comes down to is transparency. As the employer you want to show that there is no guess work in how people can move up in your company. By having clearly laid out guidelines for growth and promotions, you empower your employees to put in the work to improve and grow. They know exactly what is expected at that next level so they can be proactive in figuring out how to develop those skills or gain that experience.
Take the time to define what improvement looks like in each role and give your employees something to aim for. Providing that clarity will help keep even the notorious job hoppers engaged longer.