See if this story sounds familiar. You get a job you love. It’s challenging, engaging, and fun. You work hard at it, overcoming the challenges, developing more efficient processes, and creating quality work. Your manager can step back and relax. They no longer have to look over your shoulder to make sure you’re getting the job done. In fact, they might not even know everything you’re doing in your role.
You do it long enough that it becomes second nature. Time passes, and your job ceases to challenge you. Because your manager is comfortable relying on you, they don’t feel the need to give you much attention. It’s in their interest to keep you doing your job since you do it so well, and they don’t think to offer you new opportunities for growth.
Your manager may even start taking you for granted. Because after all, you make all the hard work look so easy because you’ve mastered it. You begin to feel unfulfilled and frustrated, wanting more room to grow in an organization that wants to keep you where you are.
Eventually, you find a higher-paid, more challenging position, and leave the organization to start over.
It’s the natural cycle of most careers, and while it isn’t inherently bad, it does leave organizations missing a massive opportunity that impacts their bottom line, culture, and growth trajectory.
When organizations are structured this way, they aren’t doing anyone any favors. Employees value opportunities for growth—a lot. And organizations that don’t understand this miss out on the potential their employees have to offer while dealing with higher turnover than necessary.
Organizations that haven’t built an integrated system for growth within their employee experience tend to struggle with employee development. But to maximize the value of each employee, organizations should create a system specifically designed for employee growth that is implemented from the very start of their role and lasts through the entire employee lifecycle.
This isn’t just in the interest of employees—it benefits everyone. Giving your employees chances to learn and grow in their roles not only helps them develop, but deepens their store of resources to offer your company, enriching both your organization and their career path.
But without a system designed to be applied to every position, you’re going to struggle keeping this growth alive. Consider implementing evaluation and development plans for each employee, defining goals and key measurements to track their progress and growth, and help them and their manager visualize their trajectory forward and upward.
Using the plan, set quarterly reviews so both the employee and manager can keep this plan top of mind throughout the year. Set expectations of your managers that they will prioritize these plans and continue to discover new ways their team members can engage and grow within the company.
Integrate this planning process as part of the company culture, developing an expectation among every member of your organization that they will have the opportunity to grow in their roles.
Break the cycle
By doing this, you’ll help to develop a company culture that promotes a learning environment, attracting talent that will be dedicated and engaged as they grow in their careers. It will foster a sense of loyalty and commitment that employers dream about.
But breaking out of any cycle can take time and be a challenge. If you want to maximize and retain the talent you have, give your managers the tools they need.
- Ensure you’re training correctly.
- Provide them with tools to identify areas for growth.
- Allow the roles they manage to stay flexible.
Help your managers break the habit of complacency, and reward and celebrate the growth they help foster. Remember, growth is a team effort—everyone needs to be involved.
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