To build loyalty and retain your hard-won employees, it’s imperative that your people know they won’t be standing still.
Valued employees won’t stay with you very long if they feel they have no way to grow. The first—and most important—step in understanding where your people want to go is encouraging them to think about where they see their own future. Have discussions about those goals, and then look for ways to provide additional training and mentoring. The best place to do it is at the annual review. At that point, you might:
- Gain a deeper understanding of what they want. During annual reviews, look for ways to have people give you their perceptions of their jobs and the opportunities you offer. Ask if there are areas of operations in which they’d like to become involved. Ask what skills they’d like to be developing and how they see using those skills at your company.
- Learn about how they perceive the organization. Offer employees the opportunity during reviews to share their perceptions of the organization’s strengths and challenges. Ask what they think is going well and what they might do differently if they were in charge.
- Work to structure feedback so that it can be implemented. By presenting and soliciting feedback in the most productive manner for each individual, you can communicate more effectively with employees. This will help them to build their strengths, address their weaknesses, and understand your expectations and targets for further professional development.
Bottom line: understanding what employees want and how they see themselves contributing to the team and the company can nurture a sense of allegiance to colleagues and the team as a whole.
Read the third in our series of Connections to Growth: Tactics and Tech to Put Your People on Paths to Growth, to learn how contributing to employee development can drive the growth of your company.