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Reach Employees on the Topic They Actually Want to Talk About: Career Growth

Krupa Patel November 9, 2020

As discussed in one of our previous posts, the employee journey starts well before Day One. Data-driven messaging kickstarts the employee’s personalized experience with their company as they onboard and prepare for their first day—and that approach continues well into the following stages of their journey.

The second stage of the employee journey is about career growth: supporting an individual as they work toward the next step in their career achievements. According to a recent Forbes article, this is a common priority among job seekers when identifying their next career move. Personalized messaging at the right moments can make all the difference for an individual’s success in this area. When it comes to professional growth, employees want to be reached out to about it. In fact, 96% of them say they want to receive feedback regularly; as author Daniel Pink says, “There’s no way to get better at something you only hear about once a year.”

So how can HR leaders capitalize on this opportunity to boost employee engagement, retention, and growth? Here are three steps to succeed.

Proactively nudge about relevant coursework

It’s becoming more and more common for companies to offer a learning management system (LMS) to encourage skill-building coursework. However, according to October 2020 Evive survey data, 47% of employees aren’t even sure if they have access to a system like that! This is exactly where rapid, relevant communications can—and should—come into play.

With professional growth being so important to employees, they’re unlikely to feel supported in this stage of their journey if they don’t have guidance on where to turn for support. Data-driven messaging that recognizes whether a person has engaged with their LMS, and then shares what those LMS opportunities are, makes all the difference in guiding employees toward options for learning and acquiring new skills. For example, an employee who has demonstrated interest in improving their approach to teamwork could get nudged about an online course for collaborative skills.

Connect recommendations to performance reviews

Proactive nudging about career growth is important, but HR leaders should consider more timely nudges around specific milestones, too—like performance reviews. What if you could connect the performance review experience to ongoing messaging that includes encouragement from the person’s manager and resource recommendations (LMS and other relevant programs the company may offer)? Especially considering that 62% of respondents in our survey reported having performance reviews only once a year or less frequently, it’s crucial to keep that momentum going with timely messages on the topic.

Strategically-deployed communications about these opportunities—informed by data–can guide employees to a personally relevant LMS course that aligns with career goals recorded from their performance review (for instance, a course on project management for someone who’s working with their manager on getting that certification). This cohesion between messaging and career events helps drive engagement and long-term success.

Keep checking in

Just as continuous engagement matters past the 90-day milestone in the “joining the company” stage, it matters well past each performance review. With our October 2020 survey data also finding that 30% of employees want feedback more frequently, companies are missing out on opportunities to engage if they gloss over those periods of time between performance reviews. In fact, only 8% of employees reported wanting manager feedback less frequently.

With automated nudges for each person’s individual schedule and tenure with the company, employees get personalized campaigns of one to support their goals (i.e., messages that acknowledge the amount of time someone has been with the company and how it might be time to work on career advancement—with a nudge to the LMS). Keeping the conversation going with consistent, data-driven outreach boosts awareness (and growth) in this critical stage of the employee journey—and beyond.