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Lack of career development has been noted as one of the most important factors influencing employee retention. While there are plenty of other factors that might make a top performing employee consider leaving, an emphasis on professional development shows a vested interest in their success that inspires workers to stay loyal to your company.
Employee Retention Strategies and How to Keep Your Best Employees
What Career Development Really Means
Career development is about more than simply promoting staff when the opportunity presents itself. It is important to have a progressive and goal-based career development program set in place to encourage the growth of your employees. Simply encouraging them to take on additional responsibilities is not enough. As an employer, it really is up to you to design a career path for the staff members you wish to stick with you for the long term. Such programs can include access to professional training, mentorship, and consistent and valuable feedback on their progress toward their career goals. This not only provides them with the career development they are looking for, but also positions them to take on greater responsibilities and perform at a higher level within your company.
Consider the Competition
If you are unable to provide the career development opportunities that your top performers yearn for, you can be sure that another company inevitably will. Today’s professionals are not interested in staying in one place for extended periods of time simply because there are greater opportunities in job growth by moving from job to job. We are currently experiencing a competitive hiring market and employers are willing to offer quite a lot of incentive in order to attract the industry’s high performers. With that in mind, it is important to recognize that even your most loyal employees may inevitably be tempted away by the prospect of accelerated career development.
What Can Be Done to Retain Top Talent?
While the obvious answer to this question is to provide employees with the promotions and salary increases they are looking for, a programmatic approach is more subtle. Not every employee can win a promotion whenever they would like one, but acknowledging the value of key employees and partnering with them to create a more fulfilling career path will help increase retention rates significantly. Showing your commitment to their long-term successes engages them in the work and in the success of the company.
Promotions are important to key employees for a number of reasons. Financial incentives are, of course, important. However, improvements in working conditions, respect of their peers, access to more interesting projects, increasing responsibility and acknowledgment of successes, and decision-making abilities all contribute to why promotions are valued by top talent. If you recognize that their skills and abilities are of value to your company, you will need to set them on a path for greater integration into the leadership of the business, or risk a competitor making them such an offer before long.
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