Employee Development

Helping Your Employees Build a Long-Term Career Path

The number one reason employees leave an organization is because they’re searching for career advancement or promotional opportunities, according to research parsed by Inc.

That’s right. Employees want to know that their current roles are going to go somewhere and that all their efforts will pay off at some point if they’re going to stay with an organization long term. Basically, they want a well-charted career path.

Why Help Your Employees Build a Long-Term Career Path?

You’re more likely to retain top talent across your organization if you help employees build well-defined and customized career paths that fit pathways available inside your organization. They’ll also be more engaged while they remain with your organization.

And they’ll be more innovative and reliable because the future of their careers will coincide with their loyalty for your organization. Also, your workforce will be able to withstand economic downturns, market woes, etc., because your employees will be highly invested in its long-term success.

How to Help Your Employees Build a Long-Term Career Path

Here are a few things you’ll want to do as you help your employees build long-term career paths.

Know what your employees want. When helping your employees build their career paths, it’s imperative that you understand what their passions, strengths, and interests are first. For example, don’t assume that everyone who’s a sales rep will want to be a sales manager. And don’t assume a marketing professional has no interest in learning how to code applications.

Instead, ask employees what they’re interested in doing short term and long term, and build their career paths around that while trying to match what they want with your organization’s strategic goals and objectives.

Also, consider their leadership ambitions and things they can do now to reach their future goals. And always remain agile and open-minded as they change their goals and interests over time.

Focus on skills, not titles and pay. When building career paths for your employees, encourage them to focus on what skills and expertise they want to learn and acquire, and try not to let them only focus on position titles and pay.

There is only a certain number of management positions available at any organization, so they might not get such positions as soon as they want, and not every employee necessarily wants to be a supervisor.

However, if they focus on expanding their skills and opportunities, they’ll be more open to doing more challenging work today, exploring lateral moves, and even searching for similar management positions in other sectors of your company.

Embody a learning culture. Make learning a part of every employee’s journey and career path at your organization. According to Oracle, organizations that have an effective learning culture:

  • Experience 37% greater employee productivity.
  • Have a 34% better response to customer needs.
  • Own a 26% greater ability to deliver quality products.
  • Remain 58% more likely to have skills to meet future demand.

Read “How to Implement an Effective Learning Culture for Your Company” for more information.

Bottom line: If you truly help your employees build a long-term career path at your organization, your organization is much more likely to remain successful and competitive long term too.