We all hate to see great people leave us. There is nothing worse than seeing a “future star” hand in their notice.
86% of people leave due to career opportunities86%
So the best-in-class organizations are now helping their leaders to build personalized career propositions for each of their employees.
Sounds hard, but is easier to deliver than you think. Our global Career Engagement Benchmarking Research shows that the best in class organizations – those achieving higher revenue per employee and best overall financial performance – were enabling their leaders to become effective “career champions” supporting their employees to grow their careers, and building their personal reputation as leaders who are talent agents.
Read our Career Engagement Best Practices Research to find out how the top 15 practices associated with those achieving “best in class” scores along with lower attrition, higher engagement and increased talent mobility.
Provide visibility to career paths
Nothing worse than getting the resignation letter on the desk, or yet another requisition slip for a replacement hire for one of your key talents. A key differentiator found in our research on Career Engagement practices that significantly impact retention statistics was providing all employees with the tools to see what opportunities exist for them across the organization and even better what opportunities align to their interests and talents.
We found that best in class organizations – those achieving higher revenue per employee and higher overall financial performance – were doing a better job of providing visible career pathways to their people and allowing people to explore aspirational roles, read the stories of those in roles that might appeal to them and connect directly with mentors, coaches and incumbents to find out more about potential career pathways.
Having a view of the career path proposition is a critical key to retention and is the why someone would join you and why they would stay with your business.
Support quality career reflection
Providing tools and resources that enable your people to reflect on their talents, their skills, their skill gaps and personal career priorities is one of the factors that we found differentiated best in class organizations from the laggards.
Best-in-class organizations were those that were achieving the lowest attrition and the highest engagement scores.
Rather than burying their heads in the sand and thinking that people just love working for you so much that they will ignore their own longer term career aspirations, the best-in-class were actively promoting career reflection and review. Lululemon is an organization that supports the career aspirations of every employee regardless of tenure, supporting a great employment brand and unique work culture.
Our research on the practices of 100 “best in class” organizations across the globe showed that the provision of career reflection enablers was a significant differentiator between high performing organizations on both financial and HR metrics.
Easy to talk you might say, but quality conversation was a key differentiator in what the best in class organizations – those achieving the best talent retention and mobility outcomes – and the laggards. Supporting your leaders to deliver a quality career conversation made a big difference in retention outcomes according to 2014 research on best in class Career Engagement practices.
Ensuring all employees get an opportunity to discuss their career priorities and aspirations with their managers at least once a year, can make a significant difference to your retention outcomes.
So if my manager knows what talents I want to use at work, what will engage and motivate me, and particularly when he or she creates an opportunity for me to do more of those activities that motivate me will make a big difference to my enjoyment of my work and my intent to say.
While so simple and easy to say, a lot of managers fear the annual career conversation, worrying about what they will say if someone wants their job, or even worse if they mention they are thinking of leaving or want to explore other opportunities within the business. Providing your leaders with tools to support employees to grow their skills and talents right now is career development at its’ best. Designing simple career actions and development plans becomes very easy when you know what talents and skills each of your employees are motivated to develop further.
Mind the Gap
Enable Careful gap analysis and individual ownership of the Gap Action Plan
The 5th differentiator found in our Best in Class Career Practices Research was found in organizations that support effective Competency Gap Analysis combined with the promotion of individual ownership of the Career Action Plan. We surveyed 100 High performing organizations and benchmarked their Career Engagement Practices. We found 15 factors that differentiated the best in class – those organizations achieving better overall financial performance and highest revenue per employee.
Identifying career competency gaps effectively was a significant performance differentiator, with the best in class providing tools that allowed the employees to self-review their full competencies and to gain endorsements from others of those talents and competencies. Those organizations that also allowed comparison of current competencies with those required for aspirational roles and that supported the development of a personally owned and tracked career action plan to develop those competencies were in the best-in-class category.
As an employee, if I know what competencies and skills I love to use, and what competencies I need to invest in growing further to map to my career aspirations is motivating. If I can see how I can grow those talents and competencies, with the support of my organization and manager even better. I am far more likely to stay if I have a sense of growing my personal “career capital”.
As a manager, if I can understand what competencies and talents my direct reports are most motivated to develop and grow, I have an easy start to a development action plan that is customized and the basis for customized retention plan based on the unique career priorities of my team members.
Promote realistic expectations
Managing career expectations realistically was the 6th differentiator in our Best in Class Research where we identified the 15 distinguishing characteristics of organizations delivering Best in Class Career Engagement to their people.
New hire, millennial or graduate career expectations can all be notoriously difficult to manage. People have joined your organization with expectations for you to deliver on the ‘career promise” that was articulated as part of the attraction proposition.
Managing and delivering to those expectations can be tricky. Best in class organizations were doing a good job of creating realistic career aspirations through providing regular feedback, allowing peer feedback to happen naturally in a non-threatening way – think LinkedIn endorsements rather than the fear created through 360 feedback and providing this to whole of business rather than just managerial or high-potential talent.
Take a quick look at how best in class organizations are providing realistic peer feedback and supporting realistic career discussions based on current performance, focusing on increased contribution and growth rather than remedial performance critique to drive higher performance and productivity.