Retain Talent by Fostering Professional and Personal Growth
Glassdoor, an online job listing site, reported recently that their site users rate ‘professional and personal growth’ as a top reason for leaving one company for another. As we have noted before, you have to create a path for career growth within your organization for ambitious employees (the kind you generally want to keep!) You cannot always meet this need with promotions, but you can create opportunities around their current position to keep them fully connected to your mission and values.
- New projects involving cross-functional teams
- Revised job responsibilities, growing the position along with the person.
- Travel to regional conferences and other events, where the employee represents the organization to the outside world.
- Certification and other talent development courses.
Provide Employees the Resources to Succeed
Even talented people need support to achieve their goals. No one is good at everything, and you cannot expect employees to be supermen and women without ongoing training and resources to cover their talent gaps. They also need honest feedback: Praise reinforces desired behaviors, and constructive criticism delivered in a caring manner can help resolve issues and minimize future problems.
Let Them Help You Achieve Your Vision
A clearly communicated vision and statement of core values give employees something on which to ground their contributions. Take the time to explain the employee’s specific role in fulfilling the organization’s vision, and the employee can more quickly find ways to make that vision their own through their work (something we discussed as a “meaning quotient” a few months ago).
Employees who feel like they are a part of something big are much more likely to throw extra energy into their work and contribute at a higher level.
Employee engagement levels are also higher among employees who say they are proud of the contributions their organization has made to the community. Local companies tend to be deeply engaged with their communities, so this is a natural advantage smaller firms have in creating a more engaged workforce. Any organization can take advantage of this phenomenon by encouraging employees to participate with you in making their own local community a better place! And let them be the ones who figure out just how to do that!
Even for those smaller businesses, building a fully engaged workforce is a lot of hard work. If you make it your number one priority, however, you will create a more engaged, and therefore more productive workforce. Surprisingly, this will free up more of your time to focus more completely on leading and fostering engagement, because your highly productive employees will be getting so much done!
Give them the ability to stretch as much as they want, at their own pace, and you will go a long way to scratching the personal development itch that could otherwise drive your talented people away!
What do you think? Have we captured the basics of providing employees with the opportunity to gain personal and professional growth without seeking greener pastures? What might you recommend to achieve that goal?