How to help your employees develop their career path

Orla Hodnett
Orla Hodnett

Career progression is something you must foster in your team to retain key talent and attract new talent. What can you do to help your employees develop their career path?

Fostering career progression is vitally important in retaining talent. By encouraging your team members to constantly develop their skill set, you will encourage healthy competition and company culture, as well as broadening the capabilities of your team members. As well as that, you will avoid attrition of talented team members.

Planning for career progression is key. While your employees need to make the case for career development, you have a responsibility to support them. Here are a few strategies you can implement to help career progression of your team.

Regular reviews

If an employee wants to progress in their career, it is important to help them to assess their strengths and weaknesses. If they need to develop certain aspects of their skill set, it may hold them back from making the moves they want to.

By having regular, open discussions with your employees you can help them emphasise their strengths in your work environment. They are also a good occasion to offer support to help them work on potential weaknesses. Your company culture will benefit from the openness to their career progression.  

Your employees might need to focus on certain aspects of their skill set to help them progress in their career

Special projects

As stated above, your employees might need to focus on certain aspects of their skill set to help them progress in their career. The best way to improve on or demonstrate skills is in a work-relevant context. Special projects may offer the opportunity to do this, as well as potentially improving processes or skill sets in your team.

By developing some special projects, or asking your employees to submit ideas, you can let employees manage the project and research new ideas and approaches. This is both an opportunity to develop your career as well as making constant improvements to your team.

Training

If your team or organisation are lacking certain skill sets, identifying and filling that skills gap may offer a career development opportunity for one of your employees. By up-skilling an employee could open a career development opportunity for themselves.

Training from external organisations, whether a from a college or a certifications authority, offer the opportunity to diversify skills in your team. There is also a huge value in internal training plans, which offer the chance to share knowledge in your team. It also offers the opportunity for some individuals to develop leadership skills in helping to offer the training.

By understanding what is expected of them in any role, they will be able to develop and demonstrate those skills

Understanding the roles

One way of helping your team to develop their skills set and progress in their career is helping them to understand their current role and any roles they are aspiring to. By understanding what is expected of them in any role, they will be able to develop and demonstrate those skills.

You can develop a list of core skills and competencies required for each role in your organisation. It can then be shared it with your wider team. Developing this profile may also help with job specifications for recruiting purposes.

Support any moves in your organisation

If an opportunity for a vertical or lateral move presents itself, you should support you employees in any such move. Try to openly discuss career progression. If the employee has worked towards this move, you should make that move possible.

If it is somehow perceived that the change will be difficult or that the organisation is not supportive of it, an employee may be discouraged. Your organisation should be open to the change and the opportunity to improve your team.

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