There’s a good chance that professional development activities aren’t high on your list of daily priorities. After all, you are at work to, well, work.
But lack of career growth is one of the top reasons employees leave companies, according to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report. Even if your company is on the smaller side and can’t offer the same mobility as larger corporations, there are still simple yet transformative ways you can invest in the growth and development of your team.
Promoting employee growth starts with building and maintaining strong manager-employee relationships. Here are three easy ways to promote employee development without a formal corporate ladder:
1. Determine mutually agreed upon career and work goals
Finding the mutual overlap between organizational expectations and an employee’s career goals is the first step towards evoking a sense of growth. By including employees in the goal setting process you not only create buy-in, but help them define success in their roles. The real payoff? Employees who strongly agree they can link their goals to the organization’s goals are 3.5 times more likely to be engaged. Once specific, measurable, and attainable goals have been established, make sure to follow up by tracking predetermined metrics and milestones.
2. Have ongoing discussions about professional growth and development
Manager-employee communication shouldn’t be just an annual occurrence. Rather, it’s imperative to check-in with your employees on a monthly, weekly, and even daily basis. Once having mutually agreed upon career and work goals, emphasize how both manager and employee can demonstrate gradual progress towards achieving these goals. Having frequent discussions is a key to building purposeful, substantive, and honest communication.
3. Offer formal opportunities for professional growth
Though your business might not be able to offer traditional advancement opportunities, like promotions, you can still enable employee growth. You can offer formal education and training opportunities or send employees to industry conferences and workshops. This allows your employees to build their resume, even if their job duties don’t change.
What’s more, many educational expenses qualify as tax deductions for your business. You can also take advantage of Hawaii’s Employment and Training Fund which partially subsidizes the cost of continuing education for employees.
When employees have the tools to excel in their jobs and ultimately in their careers, they’re likely to stay longer and be more invested in the success your company.
Learn more: Build a Better Workforce in 60 Seconds a Day