Career Growth: How Managers Can Support Employees

Career growth can be a powerful motivator for an employee, and businesses that support hopes and dreams often find success.

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The 5 Most Important Leadership Traits Your Managers Need to Have in 2023

Your employees play a key role in how your organization operates today, but have you thought about how important they are to its future? When considering employees’ current training needs, it’s a smart strategy to also think about their overall progress and career growth plans.

Today’s employees can be tomorrow’s managers if you prime them for vertical movement. But even if employees are seeking a non-managerial career track, you can help give them the tools they need to succeed. In doing so, you’ll reduce employee turnover if staff members feel they are valued enough to be invested in.

Providing the right map to help your current leaders — and their team members — reach their career goals will ultimately benefit everyone. You’ll also make a large step toward solidifying the longevity of your organization.

Encourage employees to create a career growth plan

a career growth plan focuses on the long-term and the bigger picture — giving your employees the opportunity to define how to grow their career in a way that appeals to them.

Career development is more of a short-term plan, but it’s vital because it helps employees take the immediate steps they need to enhance their skills and add new ones to their proverbial toolboxes. In contrast, a career growth plan focuses on the long-term and the bigger picture — giving your employees the opportunity to define how to grow their career in a way that appeals to them.

It’s important for employees to also know their bosses want them to succeed. Managers can do this by asking pointed questions about their employees’ career goals and helping them to identify their strengths, weaknesses, and interests. Then, together, they can work towards identifying ways for employees to achieve their long-term goals.

Invest in career growth opportunities

To help both your human resources team and leadership team assist employees in developing their career plans, it’s important to focus on investing in career growth opportunities. Once paths are identified, managers can help their team members craft career growth and development plans. These can include:

  • Courses to shore up skills gaps
  • Programs to help them earn certifications
  • Cross-training opportunities
  • Assignment of special projects
  • Shadowing experienced employees

These are just a handful of the many ways to integrate training and growth opportunities. The importance of providing continuing education and skills training courses cannot be overstated. It helps give employees the tools they need, while simultaneously keeping them engaged and in a consistent growth mindset.

Set regular meetings to assess progress

In addition to annual evaluations, it’s a good idea for managers to schedule routine meetings with their direct reports to check up on how their plans are going. At this time, your HR manager or another leader, along with the employee, can evaluate to see what’s working (and what’s not) and talk with employees about how they feel about their progress.

Providing feedback in real-time helps employees remain on a steady path of growth. A study from Wakefield Research indicates a whopping 90% of employees would prefer their managers address “learning opportunities and mistakes in real-time” rather than once a year. Feedback on a regular basis is much more effective.

A study from Wakefield Research indicates a whopping 90% of employees would prefer their managers address “learning opportunities and mistakes in real-time” rather than once a year.

Career development and career growth

To retain your employees, it’s important for them to know their managers care about them, their career paths, their future roles, and their overall wellness. This includes demonstrating interest in both career development and career growth, along with a sense of purpose.

Combined, the above efforts can help guide employees toward personal and professional growth as they explore the different career paths available to them. By providing them with specific career growth opportunities, you have a high potential to build happy and loyal teams.

Essentially, when you invest in them, you invest in your organization. Employees who have a well-defined career path in place are more likely to stay, especially in our digital age where much of the workforce is shifting to remote work. Organizations that don’t invest in engaging with their remote workers are at high risk of losing them to competitors as they seek to experience upward mobility. Providing them with “develop your career” strategies — along with skill set development — can help:

  • Retain these valuable employees for the long term
  • Provide them with their desired career growth opportunities
  • Avoid costly high turnover

Ready to invest in your employees?

Chances are many of your employees will always be looking toward their next promotion. Why not invest in them to help them attain upward mobility? In the end, you’ll have higher levels of employee engagement and a whole generation of new managers who already have the knowledge needed to lead you into future decades.

Ready to get started helping each employee climb a career ladder and priming your future managers to learn about their leadership styles and potential? Zenefits can help. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your business leaders and HR professionals put employees on the road to success.

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