Want To Help Your Employee Advance in Their Careers? Here Are Some Ways You Can Contribute
Employee professional development is one of the most critical aspects of company culture and a significant motivator for employee turnover. Many employees will leave an otherwise rewarding job if there are no opportunities for career growth.
As a manager, you want to encourage and support your employees as they pursue the additional skills and knowledge they need to advance in their careers. The positive effects of fostering talent and helping employees grow professionally can improve your retention rate and boost employee morale.
So, how do you support and encourage your employees as they progress in their career development? Read on to learn some of the best strategies!
Nurture Employee Career Goals Through…
Education and Job Training
Employees who want to progress in their profession always seek. Continuing education courses, certification programs, and opportunities for tuition support and reimbursement are all great ways to let employees know you value their existing talents and want to encourage them to advance. Training opportunities can be provided to employees throughout the workplace at every level.
Taking a personal interest in your employees’ career goals is also essential. It is important to communicate frequently with employees, meeting regularly one-on-one and staying attuned to their progress, expectations, and aspirations. This direct attention and support ensure that your employees feel valued and seen, which can positively affect their productivity and company loyalty.
One of the most important ways you can contribute to your employees’ career growth is by helping them to build solid professional networking connections. Successful, long-term career growth depends on the professional connections made along the way. Not only can your employees benefit from the advice and guidance offered by experienced peers in the industry, but they also have greater access to connect with potential employers and uncover new career and personal advancement opportunities.
You can contribute to your employees’ networking growth in several different ways:
- By connecting them with fellow professionals in the industry
- By encouraging them to attend professional industry events or meetups
- By connecting them with good mentors and coaches within the industry
Mentoring and Job Shadowing
If your company does not already have a formal mentoring program, establishing one can be one of your smartest moves. Not only is mentoring an effective tool for supporting and promoting professional growth for your employees, but it also is a valuable personal support program.
Mentoring is often viewed as a one-way street where veteran team members impart knowledge to less-experienced employees. Mentoring benefits the mentor as much as the mentees. While the mentor offers insight and guidance to less-experienced work colleagues, they also benefit from the fresh viewpoints and current technological knowledge that new employees bring to the table.
Job shadowing is another technique that provides first-hand insight into a job. A job shadowing program allows employees to shadow colleagues who work in roles they are interested in, gain knowledge about how to do the work in that position, and learn new skills to apply in the future if they pursue the role. Job shadowing is an excellent choice for employees interested in a specific career but unsure which career path to that goal matches their skillset and personality the best.
A job shadowing program also:
- Builds professional connections
- Suggest experience and skill areas that need improvement or expansion
- Teaches practical skills
- Promotes company culture
- Encourages communication and collaboration
Similar to a job shadowing in some ways, a job rotation program moves employees abound to work in different positions or departments within the company. Job rotation is a great way to build rapport and collaboration between employees and teams in various departments and help your employees appreciate each other and the company as a whole.
Employees who are too busy, too stressed, or too out of balance have difficulty advancing their careers. The resulting outcome can be career stagnation, frustration, and a possible departure from the job.
Since the pandemic, employers have come to appreciate the importance of job flexibility and respect for work/life balance in a significant way. More employers are now placing as much weight on flexibility as employees are in their job searches. By offering flexible hours and encouraging employees to manage their time effectively and leave work at work, you help workers to maintain a good balance between work and personal demands. When work and life are well-balanced and productive, pursuing career development and professional advancement is more appealing and attainable.
Investing in your employees’ career growth and advancement may seem counter-intuitive at the outset. After all, giving an employee the tools and connections to move forward could mean they eventually move away from your company. This isn’t necessarily true, though. Investing in your employees and offering them opportunities to learn and grow within their profession and to advance in it or another career shows your employees that you’re invested in them as people. When employees feel like you support them and their goals, it builds morale and loyalty, making them far more likely to stick with you and your company.