According to Gartner, an average employee stays in the same role for 50% longer now than they did in 2008. On the other hand, employee demands around upskilling have only increased. Organizations need to rethink their approach to employee career development by adopting the latest technology solutions. In this article, we discuss:
Employee career development is an initiative taken by companies to enable the training and growth of employees within the organization. This allows not only employees to grow but also organizations to fill in the gaps created by emerging technologies and a shallow talent pool to fill these positions.
In short, it benefits both the employer and the employee.
Employee career development has emerged as a significant driver of engagement and retention. Employees now want more opportunities to hone existing skill sets, explore new disciplines, and progress to positions of leadership.
And it’s not just about a change in mindset – the average worker in 2018 stayed in the same role for 50% longer than they did 10 years ago.
This means that employee careers are not transitioning at the same speed as they did 10 years ago. Meanwhile, millennial demands for upskilling and professional advancement are on the rise.
Why Career Development Is Now an Employee Must-Have: Insights from Instructure
The report revealed surprising insights into employer beliefs, employee expectations, and the gap between the two:
Clearly, the state of employee career development right now is less than impressive.
In 2018, Gartner found that 40% of employees who voluntarily leave a job list the lack of career development opportunities as a key factor.
Given how expensive attrition can be (in terms of rehiring, onboarding, retraining, and loss of domain knowledge), you can look at career development as a way to retain top talent.
Three Tips to Guide Employees on Their Career Development
It is not enough to just talk about promotions or lateral moves during your annual appraisal cycle with employees.
Career development should be a part of regular workplace conversations, making employees aware of what lies ahead both within and outside of their current position.
When conducting discussions on career shifts, here are three tips you can follow:
1. Talk about the value proposition
If you simply lay out a list of open positions across the company, an employee may not be able to decide what’s good for them and choose correctly. Instead, it is a better idea to focus on the value they would gain from shifting into a new position.
Could they move to a new location with a better quality of life?
Are there additional perks and benefits they are likely to enjoy?
Does the new team offer more engaging experiences than the current one?
Answering these questions for them may help them choose the appropriate career development opportunity.
2. Don’t limit the conversation to your company
An important trait of any skill is its transferability.
For example, the collaboration and reasoning skills a developer gains as part of a product team can be transferred to fields such as marketing as well.
So, clearly outline how the next step in the employee’s career will help them develop transferable skill sets, making them valued assets for any company.
Employees who quit due to the lack of career development opportunities have typically reached a specific milestone on their professional journey. For example, they could have reached the peak designation in their discipline.
You should be able to anticipate these milestones and present an alternative within the organization by using the two points above so that the employee (who has valuable experience) is likely to stay on.
Using Technology for Employee Career Development
The three points discussed above can be difficult to follow if you only rely on manual efforts.
First, understanding the value proposition of different jobs and communicating this in an engaging manner is complex in large organizations with cross-functional roles.
Second, you need to know exactly which skills an employee prioritizes so that you can have a meaningful discussion with them.
Finally, flight-risk employees often slip under the radar in the absence of a regular feedback mechanism.
This is why there are several software solutions now available to simplify the different aspects of employee career development.
Instructure’s solution called “Bridge” is an end-to-end suite covering organizational charts, pulse surveys, one-on-one reviews, and goal setting, as well as formal training to get employees ready for new roles.
You could also look at specific software designed to create career pathways. These software focus on linking skills and requirements to opportunities instead of covering the entire spectrum of engagement and feedback. If career pathing is a priority for you, consider a solution like TalentGuard Career Pathing.
The Push and Pull of Employee Career Development
Here’s the “push”: losing good employees is a costly affair.
According to studies by the Center for American Progress, an employee earning $10 per hour costs as much as 16% of their annual salary to replace. For top-tier talent, this rises up to 213% – this implies that you would have to spend $106,500 to rehire if an employee earning $50,000 quits!
Providing employee career development opportunities can help prevent voluntary attrition, unlocking major savings.
And here’s the “pull”: Employees who have witnessed steady career progression are more likely to be engaged with your organization and even assist/mentor new hires on their journey.
Their years of knowledge will translate into bottom-line benefits for your business while assisting their own professional growth curve.
Henry Ford once said, “The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay.”
To sum up, employee career development proves mutually beneficial in the longer run, increasing an individual’s employability, while amplifying the average level of talent at the company.
This content was originally published here.