by Erin Palmer
How Creating a Career Development Plan Can Retain Employees
A recent survey released by the Society for Human
Resource Management (SHRM) and CareerJournal.com revealed that HR professionals
and managers are gearing up for a mass exodus of employees they feel is
inevitable when the job market begins to improve. When asked why they would
look elsewhere for work, employees cited three main reasons: over 50% said they
were looking for better compensation and benefits, 35% admitted they were dissatisfied with their current career path, and 32% said they needed
a new experience with new challenges.
Recruiters and executives would be wise to address
these dissatisfactions in an effort to not only hire the best candidates, but
retain them as well. Making your company a place that employees want to be at
long-term will reduce employee
turnover. The poor economy brought these well-qualified
employees to your doorstep. Now it’s your job to keep them.
Retaining employees starts with the recruiting process
Today’s employers are faced with an ugly
truth: The job market is widening as the labor force is shrinking. According to
a recent article in the Washington Post, the percentage of Americans in the
labor force has been declining for more than a decade. In 2000,
67.3 percent of Americans had a job or were actively seeking work. Since
then, it has fallen to 63.6 percent.
With fewer candidates available, it’s more
important than ever for recruiters to hire and groom employees at the same
time. In order to retain a valuable team member, recruiters must help them
completely buy into the company’s philosophy and culture. From the very onset,
employees must be made to feel they belong and are a part of an organization
that is in alignment with their own values and career goals.
Why career development planning is important for employee retention
As mentioned earlier, one of the biggest factors for improving
employee retention is presenting a clear and present career path. People within your
organization need to not only understand there is room to grow, but that
efforts will be made from the top down to facilitate that career growth. Creating
loyalty is about thinking
beyond salary and figuring out how to get your
employees to genuinely care about the business.
Having a career development plan in place shows employees
that you value them for the work they are able to do now as well as what they
might be able to offer your organization long-term. Also, having a well defined
career path empowers employees and provides logical steps to pursue
A career development plan strengthens links between the employee and the company.
There have been many studies over the years which have
looked at the various reasons why people leave their jobs, and these insights
can offer value to the discussion of employee turnover and retention. But another insight, why
employees stay at a job, can perhaps
offer even more.
One of the greatest reasons people stay within an
organization is because they have formed multiple connections to others within
the company. Leaving a job in this situation means leaving a network of
professionals with whom they have formed strong bonds. In this way, employees
become embedded in the organization’s culture and vice versa.
Clearly defined career paths can help attract new hires.
Today’s job market is becoming an increasingly competitive
hiring environment. Fewer candidates are available to fill job openings, and
attracting top candidates means your organization has to compete with others
vying for the same top talent.
While many companies focus on salary and benefits
packages as a way to attract new hires, smart recruiters know they need to
offer more in the way of career development planning. As seen in the
previously-mentioned study, many employees care as much about potential
advancement within a company as they do about financial compensation.
Build the company’s positive reputation as a place where people can grow
As you most likely are aware, employees can become some
of your biggest brand ambassadors. That is, if they are satisfied. Creating a
positive work environment with actual potential for advancement will not only
keep your current employees happy, but those employees will help build your
organization’s reputation for being a place where individuals’ strengths are
recognized and cultivated.
Tips for creating a career development plan
In order to have a successful career path in place for
your employees, you must understand your employees’ point of view; you need to
see things as they do.
What makes your top talent feel successful?
Once you know this key insight, you can figure out how
to help them achieve their career goals.
Employees must be offered a culture within your
organization that is inclusive and provides multiple avenues and opportunities
for growth. Consider putting into place a mentoring program which will
demonstrate your commitment to their advancement while providing the guidance
and knowledge needed to achieve that growth.
Finally, one of the most important changes you can
make is in the yearly review process. This is an opportunity to make your team
members feel their opinions matter. These reviews should not only be used as a
way to offer employees feedback, but as a way of gathering feedback from them which can ultimately help your
organization be successful.
In today’s job market your company needs every
advantage over the competition. Obviously this means retaining the amazing
talent you have collected over the last several years. If you want to retain
this top talent, don’t just think about compensation and benefits. You need to
offer a true career path, a comfortable environment and a means for each and
every employee to reach their professional goals.
guest post was provided by Erin Palmer. Erin writes about masters in business administration programs for U.S News University
Directory. She also covers topics such as HR
degree programs for