Here’s a little secret: If you aren’t helping the people in your organization to meet their career goals and expectations, they will move on and find an employer who will. Moving up the proverbial ladder is important to most people, especially those who demonstrate hard work, dedication, and a commitment to continuous learning. Losing a valuable member of the team is something no leader wants to experience. To achieve organizational success, you must invest in your people. Generally, employees who are invested in feel happier and more engaged at work, and ultimately, their success is your success!
Career Advancement and Success Factors
Helping an individual to reach their career goals starts with understanding what their goals are as well as what motivates them. This looks different for every employee and depends on a number of factors that can change over time. To find out what exactly your people value at any moment in time, you have to ask. Stay interviews provide an opportunity to proactively check in with your people. You can discover what keeps them attached to their work, helping to implement intentional strategies that retain their talent and keep them engaged at your organization, both now and in the future.
Success factors that can help professionals achieve career advancement and reach their full potential include a healthy work-life balance, effective performance management and the development of new skills. Let’s take a closer look at these three areas and learn how they can be leveraged to help increase successes in any organization.
Success Factor: Work-Life Balance
In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to get caught up in work. However, neglecting personal relationships, hobbies, and other interests can lead to burnout, stress, and even physical or mental health problems, all of which seep into work life, affecting happiness, engagement, creativity and productivity.
The key to a healthy work-life balance starts with setting clear boundaries between work and personal time. This can include setting limits on the number of hours worked each day, taking regular breaks, and scheduling time for personal activities and hobbies. It also includes prioritizing self-care with exercise, healthy eating, and stress management techniques like meditation or yoga.
Just a few years ago wellness was seen primarily as something that should be handled by the individual rather than the responsibility of their organization. Now, wellness initiatives are expected at organizations. Employers are uniquely positioned to not only address the importance of mental health but also provide resources that assist employees with achieving a healthy work-life balance. Healthy employees are more likely to have the energy and focus needed to perform well at work. They are also more likely to feel fulfilled and satisfied in their personal lives, which can lead to increased motivation and engagement in their professional endeavors.
If you want to check in on the mental, physical, and emotional health of your team, a well-being survey can demonstrate your commitment to employee wellness while fostering a safe, and supportive work environment. These well-being check-ins are an easy way to keep a pulse on how employees are doing and provide a chance to make specific and additional resources available as needed to support their well-being.
Success Factor: Performance Management
Effective performance management is another critical success factor in career advancement. This involves setting clear expectations, providing regular feedback, and recognizing and rewarding good performance. Setting clear expectations is essential for employees who want to understand what is expected of them in their role. This includes clear job descriptions, performance metrics, and goals. Regular feedback, both constructive criticism and positive reinforcement, is also crucial, as are consistent opportunities for growth and development.
Recognizing and rewarding good performance is another key component of performance management. This can include bonuses, promotions, or other incentives for achieving goals or exceeding expectations. When professionals feel recognized and rewarded for their hard work, they are more likely to stay motivated and engaged, leading to increased career advancement opportunities.
Utilizing listening strategies is an effective way to better understand where managers may be falling short and where employees can benefit from better performance management practices. According to Matt Gentry, the Director of People Engagement for Forward Air, “One of the main things we have heard is that the relationship with an employee’s manager is probably the most important thing that impacts day-to-day happiness.”
Success Factor: Skill Development
Finally, in today’s fast-paced and ever-changing job market, professionals must continually upskill to stay competitive and advance in their careers. Developing new skills can take many forms, including attending conferences and workshops, taking courses and certifications, and seeking out mentors or coaches. Additional opportunities exist for on-the-job training and development, such as taking on new projects, volunteering for cross-functional teams, and seeking out feedback and guidance from managers and colleagues.
When employees invest in their skill development, they are better equipped to take on new challenges and opportunities for career advancement. They are also more likely to feel confident in their abilities and be more productive and efficient in their work. Dig into the developmental wants and other needs of your people by asking these five questions. Then leverage bottom-up management strategies that address the top skills anyone can learn to help develop managers.
One soft skill that often goes overlooked but is essential to career growth is emotional intelligence. Professionals with high emotional intelligence are better equipped to build strong relationships with colleagues and clients, communicate effectively, and navigate complex workplace dynamics. They are also more likely to be seen as leaders within their organization and to be considered for promotions. Don’t overlook this training and mentoring opportunity when succession planning or grooming internal candidates.
Creating success at your organization starts with helping your people to be successful.
To advance in their career, they must be provided with opportunities, guidance and feedback. Employees who do not see a clear, supported path upwards and onwards, will look elsewhere to achieve their career goals. Use retention solutions like Stay Interviews to avoid losing your best and brightest talent by ensuring they are given a voice and a safe place to share it. Then, support a healthy work-life balance, provide effective performance management and offer regular opportunities to build new skill-sets.
These three factors go a long way towards helping individuals achieve their career goals and aspirations, while creating a culture that attracts and retains top talent. Our Employee Listening experts are here for you, and if you want to discuss your listening strategy and tools you can book a short discovery call here.