Leading employees to achieve personal satisfaction in their careers is the key to becoming an organization where people want to stay for the long haul.
“Employees expect leaders to care about their career growth, in order to stay engaged.”
People usually work for companies where they see growth opportunities. If you want to keep your employees for the long run, you must try to make sure they have growth opportunities every step of the way.
This is even more important right now during what is being called “The Great Resignation” economy. People have felt stuck during the pandemic. Most of what they have felt isn’t related to work, but since work makes up a good chunk of people’s time and energy, the most common way to seek to get unstuck is to change jobs.
Now more than ever, it’s important to have some strategies you can use to give your employees adequate growth opportunities to keep them engaged.
Take a Personal and Genuine Interest
As a leader you must make sure that you know what your employees want out of their careers. This depends on the kind of employees you have too. If you are a company that is managing a group of employees remotely, you must bilaterally create frequent communications channels and effectively keep conversations going.
The interactions should often also be one-on-one so that you can stay in tune with their career aspirations and expectations. If all you are doing are stand up meetings requiring everyone to give an update on what they are doing, you will fail to create an environment where people feel cared for.
Employers must stop treating people like a transaction… the mindset of “we pay you to work, what you do with your future is your business” is a failed strategy in retention and in creating a culture of co-leaders.
“The key to creating career opportunities for employees is to have a culture of co-leaders, instead of subordinates.”
Promote Learning and Training
Whether the people you have are complete trainees or are very experienced, they are always looking for growth. It is very helpful to allow them to learn more about the job they do, but it’s equally important to support their aspirations on their terms and encourage learning what they are most passionate about, so they can become masterful at their desired career skills.
This will give them the incentive to work smarter and harder to bring value to the company, but also create a sense of loyalty for giving them access to what they truly desire.
“Constant learning is the key to constant growth, something that organizations should proactively promote.”
Establishing a formal mentorship program within your organization can help your employees as well. When they receive guidance from people who have been in their shoes and have moved on to greater things, they feel motivated and inspired to do the same.
The transfer of knowledge from people who know more about the corporate ladder to the people who know less is crucial. These mentoring sessions are not only beneficial to the junior employees. Through open interaction, senior leaders can get fresh and new insights about the industry by keeping an open mind about new perspectives.
When humans are stuck in repetitive and redundant tasks for 1/3rd of their day every single day, their efficiency decreases, and they become less and less productive. Leadership needs to ensure that the roles of employees are rotated and shuffled occasionally, so that people retain an interest in their jobs.
Efficiency increases when new tasks are given to people who have been slogging under the same burden for months. Not only does this strategy help the employees break out of the vicious circle of repetition, but it also helps the company integrate fresh perspectives and training into employees at regular intervals.
Emphasize the Big Picture
The company must paint a big picture and emphasize it in front of its employees. This is crucial for everyone because it helps to set long-term goals and aspirations for the company. The mission of the company, when highlighted frequently, becomes inscribed in the minds of every person working for the organization, no matter how small.
This can be done by offering regular insights into how a person’s day-to-day interactions and contributions augment the company’s goal. It’s key to get employees vested into the big picture as well. Don’t try to get everyone excited about an IPO and then offer zero in terms of stock ownership or equity, for example.
Succession Planning Program
There is a dire need to value high-performing and high-potential employees of your company. You must make it apparent to them that you are not only willing to invest your resources in their professional development, but you are also opening them up to positions where they can become the future leaders of the business.
That is a powerful message to send to your high-performing employees. When these women and men see themselves heralding the company’s legacy, they feel inclined to grow there and make the company part of their own career growth.
These are some of the things you can do and strategies you can implement to make your employees feel cared for, during their time at your company.
By employing these strategies, you are investing in their future and their overall growth, which they will value, and return in kind in the form of more productivity, loyalty and longevity.