Are your employees on the right career path?

Often as an employer, you might be wondering whether or not your employees are pursuing the right career goals, not just to ensure that your company benefits from a well-rounded employee, but because it also plays an important role in determining employee satisfaction and mental health. An employee that is both satisfied in terms of their career trajectory and overall happiness with their jobs is a win-win for both the company in terms of productivity and the individual self at a personal level. So as an employer, what are some of the considerations to take into account to ensure that employees are on the right career path that benefits all parties at the end of the day?

Advancement roadmap

It goes without saying that employees, especially those who are young, ambitious and goal orientated often have a roadmap in place which highlights their short, medium and long-term goals when it comes to their career prospects. This roadmap serves as a means to measure career development relative to what it is that an employee would ultimately like to achieve by the end of their career. It is important that employees are provided with opportunities to grow within a company and this is something that employers are able to facilitate through training and development initiatives. This ensures that organisations are able to offer their employees greater career opportunities while simultaneously absorbing the knowledge and skills gained which are released from training and development. It is always better to meet an ambitious and “hungry” employee halfway and grow them internally as opposed to hiring a new employee who would have to learn the company processes from scratch.

Competing with other employers  

Whether you like it or not, at the end of the day your employees are human beings and sometimes this means that they always want the best for themselves. This can be driven by the need for self-development or even due to having a family household that they really value and want the best for. Just like consumers are frequently keeping an eye out for value in a market of goods and services, employees are equally keeping an eye out for greater job prospects. If you truly value an employee and view them as an asset to your company, it might be worthwhile providing them with growth opportunities, a competitive salary and a really conducive working environment where they feel a sense of purpose. This holds true especially when it comes to retaining your best employees.

Clearly define job descriptions

To avoid overwhelming your employees with an unexpected workload, it helps to clearly define their role and responsibilities within the company. No employee wants to be caught off guard performing duties that they are not trained to handle. For example, on the extreme end, it is not advisable to allocate the duties of a database administrator to a payroll officer, especially if they have no experience working with database technologies on a technical level. This could lead to job dissatisfaction and cause your employees despondent. It is much better to train employees to take on flexible roles if the need ever arises – which could lead to increased job satisfaction as they acquire new skills that could further enhance their sense of purpose.

Training and development  

We have briefly touched on how training and development initiatives or programs can help ensure that your employees are on the right career path relative to their short to long-term goals. This is arguably one of the biggest contributions that employers can make to help employees stay the course of their career goals. It is thus important to assess the training needs of your employees and attempt to align them with the needs of your company. In doing so, employers are in a position to not only train employees adequately but it also affords companies an opportunity to create new roles that could strengthen the execution of the company’s strategic goals. This in turn allows for positive externalities to be realised, such as a more competitive company overall. For example, a company that has not invested in digital transformation to remain competitive is able to train existing employees for professional technical roles that could improve organisational efficiencies and increase revenue while driving down costs. Given the rate at which technology is changing the way companies are conducting business operations, it is imperative to consider how training and development programs can transform existing employees into digital natives.

Conclusion

In summary, employers should always take into account the career advancement roadmap of individual employees as it is a determinant of employee job satisfaction. In doing so companies are able to absorb the knowledge and skills of employees that could benefit the overall organisation in the long run. By establishing training and development programs for employees, it enables a company to grow and remain competitive in the ever-changing landscape of business operations and helps to retain valuable employees in the long-run. Clearly defining the roles and responsibilities of employees also leads to a more confident employee which only further improves job satisfaction and in the event that your employees require additional training it is worthwhile performing a needs analysis to identify which skills will benefit your employees’ career path in the short to long-term while providing your company with an opportunity to meet and exceed your company’s strategic goals.

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