Here’s How You Can Support Your Employees’ Growth

The capacity of an organization to hold its employees and its hired talent – or, simply employee retention is a growing concern for businesses. Sure, you can offer great perks, benefits, a competitive salary, or an excellent work environment, but research suggests that these factors don’t impact staff satisfaction and employee retention as much as you’d expect.

But if perks and a well-stocked kitchen aren’t key to employee retention, what is? Research by Udemy notes that 42 percent of employees believe that they covet professional and career advancement more than other incentives.

With the focus on sales, marketing, and customer satisfaction, and general lack of prioritizing employee development, 21 percent of employees believe that the management fails to offer support and coaching for the path to career growth. With that in mind, it’s not difficult to see that employees’ professional growth should not be overlooked in your company policy.

The initiative to nurture your employees and to support their development isn’t as straightforward as you might think. To map out a successful plan, you’ll need to center it around your employees and their interests. Here are a few helpful tips.

Prioritize Mentoring

One of the reasons for higher employee turnover is the poor relationship between employees and their managers. As a manager, you can put yourself in your employees’ shoes and learn about their aspirations, dreams, shortcomings, and strengths to facilitate their growth towards assuming leadership and managerial roles.

To do that, you need to foster a relationship with people who report to you. One of the ways you can go about doing that is through being a mentor. As opposed to a strictly hierarchical relationship with your employees, you can be a coach or a mentor to them.

A role such as that would encourage communication and build trust. The manager can impart their knowledge to their employees about the business world and help deepen their skills. More to the point, an effective mentorship program allows your mentee to connect – connections that lead to sponsors. Sponsors offer links within the firm, opening doors to higher positions.

Develop a Plan

As briefly touched on above, your employees are invested in career growth, regardless of how fond they are of their current position. A few years down the line, they wish to climb up the rungs. Said another way, they seek a long-term career at your firm.

But before you can help them work toward their goals, you need to first identify them. At the start of the year, you can chart a 12-month plan that includes the goals that your employees want to achieve by the end of the year, skills they want to develop or hone, and the projects they would like to take on.

The goals can be reading business books, building their portfolio, attending seminars, taking leadership training workshops, or cultivating a soft skill. You can further encourage it by setting quarterly or monthly goals. It’ll give you a chance to sit down with your team, where everyone can share their accomplishments.

You can ask everyone about the obstacles they are currently facing and how you can help. You can brainstorm and explore paths they can take to improve their performance. You can pass on opportunities that crop up within the organization and introduce them to your network that will ultimately help them cultivate solid connections.

Simply put, find out what your employee is good at and what they want to improve. How those those skills align with the role they desire, or if they are a better fit for a different one.

Check-in and Feedback

Once you have a clear personalized roadmap in place, the next step is to give them metrics that they can measure their performance by, as well as a realistic timeline to achieve the said objectives. This way, you can measure their growth and progress, which serves to keep them motivated and provides a sense of accomplishment.

It is vital that you don’t just rely on annual performance reviews to discuss if they’re keeping up with the plan in a timely and professional manner. Even when your employees are dedicated to reaching their objectives, if they aren’t clear on what is expected of them, they can’t efficiently follow the plan you’ve laid out for them. It will only spell frustration for them.

In the same vein, continuous feedback is essential because addressing issues and opportunities as they present themselves allows the worker to tackle and assess them on an on-going basis. If this input is offered only at annual reviews, an evaluation of their mistakes provides little-to-no value. You can schedule these check-ins to be weekly, bi-weekly, or quarterly.

Recognize Your Employees’ Efforts

Appreciating and recognizing your employees’ progress and dedication is a sure-fire way to continually motivate them. It clearly communicates the behavior company rewards, which encourages others to follow in their coworker’s footsteps.

The reward can be a bonus, a gift, extra days off. Or it can be something personal as an acknowledgment or an award doled out in front of their peers. It’s no secret that when you’re appreciated and valued, it boosts engagement.

Support their well-being

You can extend your support outside of work as well. You can help them set up healthy work boundaries. Say, if they’re working from home, you can ask them to only check their work-related emails during work hours. Or even during office hours, you can arrange yoga sessions to help your team de-stress.

A better work-life balance also means that your employees work in moderation. Working smart will increase productivity, and it will give them enough time and energy for activities outside of work.

Final Thoughts

When you started out, you benefited from your superiors’ guidance, and now that you’ve assumed that role yourself, it’s your chance to pay it forward. To wrap this post up, you can use these five development tactics to address employee retention, regardless of how big or small your firm is. By proactively implementing these policies and plans, you can help shape the future leaders of your organizations.