Paths to progress: Why it's important to signpost career paths

by Amy Simpson

People need a sense of moving forwards in their careers. So how can you improve staff satisfaction by giving them the direction that they're looking for in your organisation?

Everyone has a goal or aspiration. But ask someone where they see themselves in five years' time and you may get some pretty vague answers. Particularly if your organisation doesn't have a clear career progression plan.

Signposting progression steps within your organisation gives people purpose

While it's true that individuals are ultimately responsible for their own careers, you can still play your part in raising staff satisfaction levels. Clearly signposting the progression steps within your organisation gives people purpose and helps them reach important work milestones.

Satisfy the thirst for feedback

Regular feedback is very important to today's young professionals as it helps them gauge whether they're delivering the results they need to grow their career.

To retain millennial talent long-term, you should provide frequent feedback on when they're performing well, areas in which they can improve and how they can take on new projects to expand their skills and experience.

Anyone within the organisation can also give real-time feedback via comments and reactions to posts in open or project groups. It's an open and transparent way to drop someone a quick thank you.

You can also automate the process by using bots. Thanks bot allows people to tag colleagues in a group to say thank you – and it automatically pings that person's manager at the same time to close the feedback loop.

This cuts admin levels and can encourage people to proactively offer positive feedback in recognition of a job well done.

Pair up-and-coming talent with mentors

Are there people higher up in your organisation who would be ideal mentors to your younger employees? Or opportunities for staff to learn new skills from their peers?

Better connections between people throughout the organisation help keep the company conversation going and staff engagement levels high.

The Workplace integration with Cortado helps people build deeper professional networks

As well as sharing practical knowledge, mentors can also provide greater insight into the workplace hierarchy and office politics involved in taking on more senior roles.

Technology can help here too. The Cortado integration with Workplace, for example, can help you set up a mentoring network in a few clicks.

The bot introduces employees to different colleagues based on career goals and interests. It helps encourage people to meet, connect and build deeper professional networks.

Get recruitment right

Job seekers want security and they want opportunities to progress. In fact, 91% of British Gen Y-ers consider rapid career progress a top priority when looking for work.

On your careers page, make a point of highlighting the ways in which you value your workforce and care about their future success. This approach could involve sharing stories of how you enable employees to shape their careers and progress at your organisation.

Clearly signposted career progression helps both recruitment and retention

You can also target key demographics this way. Inspiring young women with firsthand insight from your senior female staff to clearly demonstrate your commitment to diversity

As well as being an aid to recruitment, a career path also helps to retain staff. They won't need – or want – to look elsewhere to advance their careers.

Motivate with pay grades

Giving employees a structured career path is an important part of your staff engagement strategy. It shows that you want them to maximise their potential.

Without goals to strive for, employees may find it difficult to keep on the right track. By having specific salary structures in place, or a grading system from junior to senior to managerial roles, you're giving them something tangible to work towards.

And when people meet and exceed these goals their satisfaction levels will be high.

Support training and personal development

Employees will develop many of their skills in their day-to-day roles, but what knowledge and expertise will they need to make it to the next level?

Giving people the right training and tools can empower them to progress

In the US, 80% of Gen Y-ers say that an emphasis on personal growth is the most important quality of a company's culture.

Employees working towards promotion may need to take specialist courses or acquire new qualifications. They may also need to develop soft skills such as communication or leadership qualities.

Giving people the right training and the tools they need to climb the next rung on the ladder can empower them to progress. These signposts are good not only for the individual but for the entire organisation.

Watch how using Workplace is helping Campbell to reimagine company culture. Then try Workplace Premium free for 90 days.

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