CoAdvantage- Career development is a cornerstone of employee experience. Workers who have opportunities to grow in their roles and align their career trajectory with their personal goals will be happier, more satisfied, and more engaged.
Indeed, well over half (57%) of the respondents to engagement technology platform provider Glint’s most recent State of Employee Engagement report say that their ability to grow within the organization is one of the top issues affecting their experience as an employee.
But career development programs can be tricky to run successfully. Here’s how to ensure your employees can keep growing, developing, and becoming more successful. In turn, the employer reaps the benefits of improved engagement, loyalty, retention, and performance.
1: Foster a companywide culture of learning
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) suggests that employers cultivate a culture of workplace learning: “Workers need to know that their workplaces offer clear avenues for skill development. Employees are often eager to do whatever they can to help the organization succeed; their employers can reassure them by creating a supportive learning culture.”
This benefits employers too: the ability to upskill and re-skill existing employees can be critical to continued success in the face of labor shortages and recruitment challenges. Meanwhile, existing employees can be more successful and perform at higher levels in their own roles, and perhaps grow into more valuable roles at the organization.
2: Decide on the right kind of learning and development programs
Employers have a lot of options when it comes to supporting employees in their career development. For example, employers can opt to handle career development entirely in-house, using internal HR staff, trainers, and leaders who can mentor or coach their subordinates. Alternatively, organizations can also contract with outside organizations, anything from academic institutions to purpose-built career development services. They can use formal training programs or more informal approaches to coaching. The approach that will work best can vary; it depends on your company’s unique situation and workforce.
3: Always assign stretch assignments
The idea behind a stretch assignment is to give an employee a task that should be within their capabilities but isn’t typical of their job duties and will challenge them to complete. It’s a great way for them to get used to different kinds of activities, practice new skills, and prepare for career growth. If you think of this as “on the job training,” it offers a great, hands-on alternative to instructor-led programs. Indeed, according to The Standard Social Innovation Review, “hands-on experience, supported by formal and informal coaching and mentoring, is the best leadership teacher.” Read more here.
One word of warning, however: don’t just throw employees into the deep end with no support. While employees are working in these stretch areas, managers and mentors should be monitoring their progress throughout the project, not just assessing at the end.
CoAdvantage, one of the nation’s largest Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs), helps small to mid-sized companies with HR administration, benefits, payroll, and compliance. To learn more about CoAdvantage’s ability to create a strategic HR function in your business that drives business growth potential, contact us today.