Best Ways to Foster Employee Growth: The Future of Career Development
Do you remember the last time you were in a job interview and were asked about your long-term career goals?
If you’re like most people, you probably had a canned answer prepared that involved wanting to be promoted to a management position within the next five years.
The problem with this type of thinking is that it’s becoming increasingly irrelevant in today’s workforce.
With technological advances and the ever-changing job market, employees are no longer content with climbing the corporate ladder in a straight line.
They want to be able to play to their strengths and grow in their careers in a way that makes sense for them.
That’s why fostering growth with employees is becoming increasingly important for businesses.
And as someone who has followed a non-traditional career trajectory in my time here at Mondo, I have first-hand knowledge of the benefits of this approach and how it’s possible to create a cultivation environment for your team.
A non-linear career path success story
My journey with Mondo started in January 2021. I had been feeling somewhat stuck in my previous role and was searching for that growth opportunity that catered to both my logistical needs and my passions.
Before I knew it, I had joined Mondo’s Philadelphia team as a Technical Recruiter. I had no previous experience in recruiting and my technology language was, at its best, basic.
As my time with Mondo continued, I started to realize that I wasn’t working for just any other company. My family and friends were — and still are — stunned at this company’s culture and how the people are consistently put first and given every chance for advancement and success.
With an academic background in psychology and human services, I was always striving to use my passion for understanding people and their experiences in my day-to-day work routine.
Although I was comfortable where I was and had no desperate need to search for something new, an opportunity to join Mondo’s Employee Experience team presented itself and I just knew that this could be where I make that impact I had been striving for.
As a part of the Employee Experience team, I now work on a multitude of initiatives that support the internal employee experience at Mondo.
Promoting employee engagement, leading the onboarding experience for newly hired employees, and supporting various programs to enhance growth and employee satisfaction are a few of my new day-to-day responsibilities.
How to foster employee growth in the workplace
Meet people where they’re at
It’s vital for companies to understand that everyone comes from a different starting point.
When a company meets the person where they are instead of where they expect them to be, it gives the employee an opportunity to learn and grow and discover new goals for themselves.
Promote from within whenever possible
When it came to where I wanted to see myself professionally, whether it be 6 months or even 3 years in the future, I knew that whatever role I took on, I wanted to stay with Mondo.
The opportunities for growth and promotion within the company were one of the biggest highlights I noticed early on in my career here.
Whether it’s a financial promotion or stepping up to a new challenge to provide more autonomy, the fact that I had to look no further than within Mondo felt both reassuring and encouraging.
Creating a culture where employees know they can advance their careers in a way that plays to their strengths is key for both morale and retention.
Encourage employees to take risks
Seeing an opportunity present itself is one thing, but actually going for it is another.
Without the support and encouragement from the leadership team I had as a recruiter, I truly believe I wouldn’t have been able to take the first step in expressing my sincere interest in moving to a different team and role.
Giving that extra voice of encouragement for any employee to go after the success they want is a huge uplift of confidence and support.
Provide resources for personal and professional growth
If you want an employee to invest in your vision, you first need to show that you are willing to invest in theirs.
There was no question that whatever I wanted to achieve, whether it was recruiting or where I am now, Mondo was there to provide the tools, support, and resources necessary.
If companies don’t invest in their people by giving them the right tools to grow, employees could feel limited and lose their sense of value to the company.
Prioritize transparency, communication, and authenticity
On each 1-on-1 call and milestone “check-in”, it was always made clear to me that my opinion, thoughts, and feelings always mattered.
Having an open line of communication with leadership about wanting to move forward in a different direction than anticipated was never uncomfortable or invalidated.
Ensuring transparency and honest communication between employees and management is instrumental when it comes to the employee feeling comfortable voicing their goals and ambitions.
Why investing in your people matters
Employee growth increases productivity
In my experience, “the opportunity to grow” is one of the most repetitive responses to what people look for in a company.
When there are a multitude of career paths that an employee can embark on, employees feel the desire to improve their work ethic and provide positive outcomes for both the company and themselves.
Investing in employees reduces turnover
When a company takes the time and effort to invest in its employees, the need to look at other outside opportunities becomes null and void.
According to a LinkedIn Workforce Learning Report, 93% of employees would rather stay with their company longer if their careers were being invested in by that company.
This results in continuously having to search, find, hire and keep top talent less frequently.
Fostering employee growth attracts top talent
Everyone wants the best of the best when it comes to the talent they hire, and of course, the best talent wants a company that is going to value their work.
If you want the top talent in the field, you have to present a top opportunity, one that includes available growth and positive culture.
When a candidate sees the opportunities that a company presents to its current employees and how employees are given the proper support to escalate in their career paths, it makes the candidate that much more intrigued.
Employee growth improves the bottom line
Growth makes way for change and enhancement.
As employees are able to evolve with their roles and career paths, there is more room for innovation which, in turn, brings new ideas, solutions, and strategies that can provide long-term improvement for the bottom line of a company.
How are non-linear career paths beneficial?
Non-linear career paths foster passion and fulfillment
As I explained before, I was consistently looking for a way to integrate my passion into my career on a daily basis.
Although my current role wasn’t established in my prior career path, the non-linear move fulfilled what I was missing when it came to what I truly wanted to have as my lifelong career.
When an employee is able to invest their passion into their work, dedication to their job feels effortless.
Non-linear career paths play to people’s strengths
With the ability to move into a different role at Mondo, I was given the chance to really highlight the strengths, such as understanding and working with people, that I didn’t have before.
When you’re able to showcase strong skills that a position caters to, your confidence doubles, and your ambition to increase your success skyrockets.
Non-linear career paths open the door to innovation
Not everyone works and learns the same, hence why not everyone’s career path should be considered textbook.
Non-linear career changes open the door for a company to create a new, non-traditional way of investing in their employees, which furthermore, invests in their company as a whole.
With the non-linear career path I have chosen, the opportunity to build on the concept of the employee experience is endless and could set an entirely new standard for companies when it comes to employee engagement and satisfaction.
The future of fostering employee growth in the workplace
In conclusion, I think it’s important for companies to remember that employees are individuals with different passions, strengths, and weaknesses.
A one size fits all approach to management and career development is no longer practical or beneficial in today’s workforce.
Fostering employee growth should be a company-wide effort in order to improve recruitment, engagement, and employee retention.
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