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Career progression and transparency are key to fulfilling career satisfaction

Alex Hattingh, Chief People Officer - Employment Hero

In recent times and more than ever, staff turnover has become a great challenge for businesses. Retention should be a key priority for employers, but the Great Resignation combined with current economic tensions have proven that employers urgently need to rethink their strategies in order to keep existing staff and attract new talent.

Employees are looking for better working conditions, decent pay, and flexibility, and the pandemic has also shown employers that their employees want a life outside of work. We know that workers are looking for more flexibility, but we also believe that workers are experiencing ‘fulfillment anxiety.’ So, what can employers do to help employees who are  looking for more fulfilling careers?

A career progression plan

A career progression plan is a documented strategy or roadmap which shows the path that your employee will advance along in your company to meet their career goals. It should clearly lay out the employee’s skills, competencies, experience and milestones that the employee can be expected to demonstrate in order to progress.

Career progression plans are complemented with a learning pathway, which identifies what training and education the employee should pursue to reach each of the milestones identified in their career progression plan.

Career transparency

Career transparency is the approach of publicly sharing which career paths are available or can be expected in your company. Being transparent about growth opportunities might well already be a part of your employee value proposition (EVP).

Providing relevant, detailed and accurate job descriptions, posting salary bands, and being honest in the recruitment process will all help to cultivate a culture of transparency. This speeds up the recruitment process and attracts the ideal candidates who have visibility over what skills they need for a role as well as where they might be able to go in your company. Being open about this builds trust right from the beginning of the recruitment and hiring process, and elevates your brand.

Four simple steps to create a career progression plan

1. Determine the career goals of your employee

Talk to each of your employees. Ask them about their aspirations and their goals and listen to what they tell you. Be aware that every employee is different and may have their own ideas about their career goals. Make career goals part of your culture to show that you are open to talking about it. If money is an issue, don’t hesitate to have a conversation with your employees about it.

2. Co-create a plan

Work with your employees to develop a plan that reflects both their goals and yours as a business.

3. Provide a clear learning pathway

It’s important to provide training and learning opportunities in a clear learning pathway. While learning pathways should be tailored to each individual, it doesn’t mean you have to create a perfectly unique pathway for each employee – using a learning management system is an efficient way to coordinate this provision while having visibility over employee learning and progress.

4. Actively support your staff

You need to keep employee career progression under review, and mentorship or workplace coaching are ideal ways to do this.

Workplace mentorship programs are designed to encourage the personal and professional development of a mentee through the sharing of skills, experiences and insights.  On the other hand, employee coaching covers everything from helping team members complete courses to providing constructive criticism on a piece of work.

Employers that offer compelling career progression opportunities and learning pathways have the best chance to retain those workers. Cultures that transparently promote and support learning and growing are more likely to retain employees and attract talent. This is about trusting your employees and empowering them in their own career development, while you also grow your business. Together is how employees and companies can thrive.

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