As a manager, it can be difficult to provide meaningful growth opportunities for your staff. With day-to-day operations at the top of your mind, it is challenging to take a step back and focus on your employees. However, today’s competitive job market means that when employees feel dissatisfied at work, they won’t hesitate to find another opportunity.
According to our 2019 Hiring Outlook, “lack of advancement opportunities” was the #1 reason professionals left their last job. Additionally, your role as a manager is critical in helping your employees take those steps toward advancement. As a result, providing valuable learning opportunities is necessary to prevent turnover and keep employees satisfied.
To provide meaningful growth opportunities for your staff, managers can start by using the following strategies:
When you’re considering investing in career growth for your employees, it’s important to be able to identify a high performer who may not be very polished yet. While an employee may not come with every technical skill needed, they do bring their soft skills to the table. When you can identify someone who learns quickly, communicates effectively, and holds themselves accountable, you know that it’s worth the investment to train them to be a leader within your company.
Determine your skills gaps
Career development should be a two-way street. While it’s important for companies to offer the growth opportunities that professionals desire, you also need to identify and cultivate skills that the organization requires to hit future objectives. Based on those skills gaps, you can work to match your employees with who would be most suited to fill this need.
Offer stretch opportunities
Stretch opportunities are a great way to offer small development opportunities outside an employee’s normal scope. Access to a new project or the ability to explore a new area of the company can be the learning experience that boosts their morale and gives you a window into how they handle a new challenge.
As a leader within your organization, you have the power to set the tone for yourself and for your employees. The more you are task-driven, the more your employees will mirror that behavior. Along those lines, your employees will not value learning opportunities if you don’t value them. As a result, it’s critical that you encourage your staff to explore the things that interest them and bring new ideas into the company.
Make the time
According to Harvard Business Review, only about half of working Americans say they have adequate time available to participate in career development activities. As a manager, it is up to you to make the time for yourself and for your staff to learn new skills and further your business objectives.