Today's healthy job market makes it all too easy for workers to jump ship the moment things fail to go their way. But what are the key drivers that cause employees to seek out new opportunities? You might think money is the primary motivator, but according to staffing firm Addison Group, career development -- or a lack thereof -- could be an even greater factor. Case in point: A whopping 76% of workers say they'll seek out other job opportunities if they're passed over for a promotion at their current place of work.
If you want to avoid losing out on key talent, you'll clearly need to address the fact that workers take the idea of not getting promoted seriously. Of course, this doesn't mean dishing out promotions left and right to retain employees, but it does mean focusing on career development so that your workers feel like they're moving in a positive direction. Here are a few specific steps to take in this regard.
1. Set clear expectations
A big part of helping your employees move their careers forward is helping them understand exactly what it is they need to do to get promoted. As such, it pays to map an individualized plan for each of your workers with specific tasks and goals to focus on. On top of that, have your managers conduct quarterly check-ins where they review their direct reports' progress and offer advice on stumbling blocks that are getting in the way. Setting clear expectations will give your employees something concrete to work on and help them avoid some of the frustrations that often arise on the road to getting promoted.
2. Invest in your workers' success
Sometimes, hard work alone isn't enough to help employees advance career-wise. It often takes additional education or skill-building to make a real impact, so to that end, support your employees financially as best as you can. You might, for example, offer tuition reimbursement or subsidize the cost of courses or seminars. Or, you might hire people to conduct relevant workshops in house. The key is to give your workers access to the resources they need to excel.
3. Offer a mentoring program
One final way to help your employees progress career-wise is to implement a mentoring program where newer hires are paired up with seasoned workers who can show them the ropes and help them develop key skills that'll ultimately help them advance. Why run a mentoring program? For one thing, it's basically free. It's also a great chance to give your employees customized support in meeting their goals. And as a bonus, your veteran employees might get a lot of out such a program, too, making them more likely to stay where they are.
Retaining talent in a competitive job market is easier said than done. If you want to avoid losing employees because they aren't getting promoted, make a real effort to support your workers' careers. It could be the one thing that prevents them from busting out their resumes and taking their business elsewhere.