We’ve all heard the old adage, the best investment you can make is in yourself. And it’s one that resonates with many of us on both a professional and personal level. Whether it’s going back to school to invest in career growth, joining a professional group to expand your network, starting therapy to strengthen your headspace, or even taking pottery classes to build a new creative outlet, I think we can all agree, investing in yourself is worth it.
As an employer, taking this adage to heart is just as important. To invest in yourself is to invest in your employees, as they are the heart of your organization. While there are various ways to invest in employees, one of the best ways is during the second stage in the employee journey – investing in their professional growth.
When you support employee growth, you elevate your workforce, generating a positive employee experience that encourages transparency, communication, and collaboration. Employees would rather grow within an organization than feel as if they’ve hit a professional plateau and move to another.
Investing in employee growth as they work toward the next step of their career also helps cultivate a healthy workplace culture – one where employees feel motivated to improve.
Once an employee reaches the career growth stage, it’s crucial to provide sample opportunities for them to learn new skills. Some simple ways to help include establishing individual development plans, exposing them to networking opportunities, and even assigning them mentors.
Supporting career growth requires you to actively communicate with employees. Open communication helps you better understand an individual’s goals and identify relevant opportunities for their development.
For Investing in Career Growth, Communication is Key
We all want to foster highly-motivated employees. When an individual joins your organization, it’s likely they already have their next career move planned. Personalized communications during the career growth stage makes a significant difference in an individual’s professional growth. Yet, many employers are missing out on this critical opportunity.
According to Evive’s Q4 2020 National Employee Journey Survey, more than 1 out of 3 respondents are neutral on the idea or disagree that their manager is committed to their career growth. That same amount say their manager has never reached out with relevant articles or other web resources related to career growth areas identified from their performance reviews. Furthermore, nearly half of all respondents say that their manager has never reached out with relevant professional groups related to those identified career growth areas.
Yikes! With such alarming statistics, how does an organization take advantage of this low hanging fruit? Start by actively communicating with employees to better understand their goals and identify relevant professional development opportunities. It seems so simple, but what if you have a large team and personal communication with each individual isn’t realistic? If that’s the case, it’s time to automate the outreach.
Kick-starting Career Growth with Data-Driven Messaging
Your company likely has a learning management system (LMS) that can help accelerate career growth. But are all your employees aware of and actively engaging with the LMS?
According to another data point in Evive’s survey, 10% of employees don’t know if their company has an LMS. Of those who say their company does have one, 40% say they’ve only used it for mandatory company training like security, workplace behavior, etc.
An automated, data-driven messaging platform not only identifies if a person has engaged with the company LMS, but it can also recommend relevant opportunities for each employee that align with their career path and performance goals. By using behavioral science, prediction, and analytics, the LMS’s automation shows which topics employees are most interested in and allows you to personalize the experience based on their interests and needs.
For instance, if an employee shows interest in improving project management, send them information for LMS courses about team organization. Or, recognize an employees’ tenure with the company by suggesting relevant advancement opportunities, helping them progress to the next level.
After Personalization Comes Timeliness
Proactive communications are crucial, but it’s equally essential to nudge employees to take action at just the right time. Maybe your high-potential employee is in the career growth stage and just earned a promotion. This is a great opportunity to use gentle, automated reminders to encourage professional development in their new role. Maybe it’s continuously serving up reminders about workshops that play upon their strengths and interests. Or ideas to help them build their network within the organization or a professional group. You can even highlight relevant programs within the company, directly aligned to their performance review goals and objectives.
When your employee is ready for their first management position or leadership role, help them along to the next stage of the employee journey – learning to lead. Their manager can use automated communications to encourage, engage, and motivate that employee. For example, offering team-building techniques, lessons in time management, and how to appropriately delegate, set goals, and prioritize team projects. The options are endless.
By providing opportunities for employees to learn and grow, you’re not only empowering their work but you’re also motivating them to succeed. This personalization of their career will help your business by driving engagement and retention, and growing your bottom line.