18 Jun 2013

Effectively Developing Your Employees’ Career Paths

Article on - Effectively Developing Your Employees’ Career Paths

In the modern workplace, employee loyalty is becoming an increasingly endangered species. It’s no surprise that one of the main reasons employees leave their job is because they feel that their career progression (and with it any salary increment) in the organisation has hit a brick wall.

As a supervisor, it’s thus important to take the time to discuss your employees’ performance and how it will affect their career development opportunities in the organisation.

Performance and Progression
Naturally, few employees are content for their careers to remain stagnant if their performance consistently meets or exceeds their Key Performance Indexes (KPIs). Every employee wants their hard work to be acknowledged and valued, and this is the key factor which motivates most employees to excel in the workplace.

Proper career development of your employee within the organisation has the following advantages:

1) Being able to develop critical employee skills that require a considerable investment of time and resources, which can be difficult to obtain on the external labour market.

2) Improving staff retention rates and the attractiveness of your organisation to jobseekers.

3) Increased workplace productivity and motivation of employees.

Do note that when talking about the promotion of employees who are performing well, it’s also important to be able to differentiate between a performance appraisal and a proper chat about career development, although these are often inextricably linked.

Assure your employees that a candid discussion of their short- and long-term career goals will not negatively affect their performance evaluation. Employees may also be curious about your experiences as a superior, particularly if you yourself have come up through the ranks at the organisation, so don’t be afraid to share relevant gems of wisdom.

The Peter Principle
When it comes to developing the careers of your employees, you need to consider not just their own interests and aspirations, but also what kind of opportunities may be open to ‘someone like them’.

This is where the Peter Principle, which postulates that employees of an organisation will eventually be promoted beyond their level of ability, applies.

For example, a very skilled IT engineer may be promoted to a managerial post based on his sterling performance, but his new and vastly-different set of work responsibilities may become overwhelming, leaving him confused and demoralised and unable to attain further career progression – and he might eventually be worse off than if he had never been promoted in the first place.

Where Do I Fit In?
To address this, it’s good to be mindful and supportive of an employee’s goal to remain in his or her current position by identifying development opportunities. An outstanding employee can continue to function in their area of specialization, while their contributions are acknowledged with rank and pay increments.

Training courses and workshops are a good tool to help employees keep abreast of the times, and if possible, worthy employees can also take on additional responsibilities in an organisation that do not significantly interfere with their area of specialisation.

After all, the hallmark of a good superior is to be able to deploy employees in positions where they can make the most significant contribution to the organisation, and that’s where you can prove your ability to manage your employees – and develop your own career!

Contributed by JobsCentral Pte Ltd