Leadership + Management | By Tom Murphy,

Forget About Ping Pong! Employees Want Career Development.

Not every employee on your team is interested in taking on more responsibility, moving up the food chain, or even learning new skills. But you can bet your best and brightest are.

Often, these are the same people you worked really hard to get and have invested a significant amount of time and resources into. So how do you make sure those career-driven employees view your company as a viable, long-term option rather than a short-term stepping stone or resume booster? If you have clear and visible career paths in place, you’re definitely on the right track toward better employee retention.

Make sure your new hires know about these opportunities from the get-go. As time goes on, discuss where and how your team members fit into the bigger picture and ways they can work toward selected goals. Even better if you talk about these things outside the context of review time.

Tip: The more you get people thinking about the possibilities available to them within your organization, the less likely they will be to start looking for opportunities elsewhere.

If you’re running a smaller company, or one with very low turnover, new positions and promotions may not be readily available. That’s okay. You can still give your employees some exciting personal and professional development options through one or more of the following:

  • Create a career mentorship program
  • Offer cross-training across departments
  • Support employee education and skill building
  • Provide opportunities to work on new projects
  • Solicit input and participation on company initiatives
  • Encourage informational interviews and job shadowing
  • Allow staff to attend professional conferences and events
  • Consider tuition reimbursement for career-related classes and degrees

Research shows that employees rank career development and growth high on their priority list. If it’s not high on your priority list, maybe it’s time you moved it up a notch.

Bottom line: A dead end job isn’t going to entice career-motivated individuals to come on board or stick around, which will eventually end up affecting that other bottom line. Yours.

Running into challenges with employee engagement, turnover, and retention? We’ve got ideas to help you address these issues and more. At Sonus, we build cost effective, long-lasting employee benefits strategies to keep your business— and your employees— in optimum health.

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