Demystifying Career Development

Functional HR: 5 Surefire Ways to Boost Retention, Part 1

BY: Keith Kawasaki, VP of Client Services & Contract Management

One in three workers will voluntarily quit their job by 2020, according to the Work Institute’s recent Retention Report. That should ring loud and clear as a megaphoned crisis that employers need to manage and smart leaders will get ahead of by kicking into solution mode.

Keeping great employees is about more than pay and benefits. It’s about helping them realize their importance to your company’s future and their potential path forward.

Armed with insights gleaned from resources such as the recent Retention Report, studies by the Society for Human Resource Management, and our experience serving global brands and federal agencies, we have formulated five solutions for retaining employees.

Let’s look at Solution No. 1– Demystifying Career Development.

The top reason people leave their jobs is a lack of room to grow—a need for career development. With a little elbow grease on the front end, you can set up digital and collateral solutions to educate and empower your employees with the information they need to move up—while identifying the value and character you expect to see from them. Let’s look at a few suggestions.

Develop a web application that enables users to identify interests that the tool can connect to career fields within your organization.

Through this light gamification, users can also see how career and skill level selections would affect their pay.

Ultimately, users build a career map that plots short-term and long-term milestones. Depending on your organization—and I’d argue every organization has this opportunity—it could plot out multiple years.

Don’t be stingy. Let the users download and share their customized career map to talk it over with family and friends. In that, you’ve also just created a positive marketing experience that will attract their sphere of influence.

Some folks prefer to see potential paths in a simply yet elegantly designed one-sheet that shows them how to get from point A to point B.

Don’t deny them this device. By thinking through the opportunities in your organization, you can prepare career maps that speak to specific career fields and illustrate the milestones of advancement. Keep the simplicity train going and offer it as a downloadable PDF. Recruiters can print them for career fairs or have them displayed on a tablet in an interactive slide show.

Sometimes employees and prospective employees can have a hard time articulating their skills and likewise mapping them to careers within an organization.

With a little HR brainpower (and a savvy digital vendor), you can create a digital application for users to input or select their skills and see them matched to careers that align with their preferences and talents—simple app development that answers an immediate need for employees.

Don’t skip the obvious.

A well-produced video series showcasing both career opportunities and employee success stories will not only play well with your staff, but it will force you to involve them in the productions. Employees, and humans in general, like to be appreciated. Work with your team to not only select the content but also to feature your employees displaying the values you wish to see, using their talents and showcasing them in a positive way.

Next in POV: Now that your employee’s career path is clear, what’s the next step you can take to boost retention? Check back next week or get your own copy of Functional HR: 5 Surefire Ways to Boost Retention here.

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Keith Kawasaki is iostudio’s VP of Client Services & Contract Management. With more than 15 years developing HR marketing programs and leading integrated teams, Keith has brought innovative solutions to the Army, Navy, Marines Corps, UPS and McKesson, among others. Keith is an active member of the Content Council, SOCAP and the Association of Proposal Management Professionals. Contact Keith at 615-724-4202 or keith.kawasaki@iostudio.com. Follow @keith_kawasaki on Twitter.