One of the areas that employees consider when they are applying for jobs is the amount of career development potential the company offers. Employees want to be assured they can move up within the company or expand to another area that sparks their interests. However, career development is one area where most companies lack in providing a good program for employees to gain what they need in their careers.
It’s up to executive leadership, HR, and managers to help their employees get to where they want to go in their career by providing opportunities at the company. These career development initiative can go a long way in the satisfaction and growth of employees.
In this post, we are a few career development tools that you can use to make sure your employees succeed.
Ask your employees what they want
The first step in helping your employees is asking them what they want out of their career. Do they want to become a C-level executive? Do they want to move into a different career field? Sit down and have a conversation of what their career goals are. This can help you work with employees to figure out a plan of action at the company to get their employees where they want to go. That way, you and your employees can be working towards the same goals to hopefully get the same results. Think of this more as a collaboration—it can be a win-win for both parties.
Most companies practice annual or bi-annual goal setting for employees. While these goals are often used for performance reviews, managers can use them to help their employees keep on track with their career goals. Work with your employees to figure out some appropriate career goals based on what they want to accomplish. Offer to check in with them on a quarterly basis to see how they are progressing and where you can offer your assistance. You want your employees to succeed, especially if it can be at the company. Creating career-based goals gives employees something to work towards in their career and can be a win for the managers too.
A good way to help employees test the waters in different career areas they might be interested in is to set up a rotational program. This doesn’t have to be a formal rotational program, but rather a way where an employee can split their time between teams. Employees can spend 25-50 percent of their time contributing to another team to gain the experience they desire, This helps them to learn new skills and maybe to find something they are passionate about. A rotational program can also be a good way for your team to collaborate with teams that they might not work with, finding ways for you to work with them.
Continuing education doesn’t necessarily have to mean a master’s degree. This can be an eLearning course that employees can complete to gain specialized skills. Google offers free courses in Google Analytics and Google Ads that employees can take if they so choose. Additionally, sites like Lynda offer a whole slew of courses employees can take to further their own skill set and career development. If your employee wants to take a course that requires payment, work with the department budget to ensure there is money to make this happen. Plus, these certifications are a great addition to a resume!
Find a mentor
As we’ve discussed before, a mentor is a great career tool that employees can utilize at the company. A mentor can help employees navigate their struggles at the company and in their careers. They can offer employees suggestions on what next steps can be when it comes to growing in their career and offering ideas on how to get there. Additionally, mentors can be a person an employee can vent to in the case that they need it when they feel like they can’t take to anyone else. Encourage your employees to find themselves a mentor within the company to start these career-related discussions.
Offer internal education sessions
Education initiatives don’t just have to happen outside of company walls. Take a full day to organize some internal sessions for employees to take part in that cover broad career skills they need. This can be anything from public speaking to a resume workshop to interviewing. These skills keep employees up to date on their skills, preparing them for any opportunity that they may experience. Oftentimes, these skills aren’t taught in school, so it’s nice to be able to provide them to employees, especially if they are early on in their careers.
Career development is something that can make or break an employee’s experience at the company. With good career development tools and programs in place, not only will you help your employees achieve what they want from their careers, you will also increase loyalty.