Linked – Want to keep top talent? Create clear paths to advancement

This is something we should be thinking about when we talk about career development with all of our team. Many of them will want to know “what’s next? What should I be aiming for, and then after that, what’s next?”, and so on. It’s important for anyone who has an interest in learning new things, and developing themselves. As quoted from the article below:

What we need is a greater emphasis on internal mobility programs. Leaders need to use their imagination and take the time to find the positions that people will succeed in, allowing them to change roles or even departments without having to change companies.

I’ve seen this fail so many times I can’t even begin to count them all. Mostly where they fail is that the career path is designed by someone who got where they are by taking path “A”, and so they design the same path for everyone else to follow. This is short-sighted for two reasons:

1. Not everyone is you. Not everyone wants to do the same things you have done or do now. (Over time those things you did 10-15 years ago may not even be relevant.)

2. That path winds to your job, so unless you are leaving, it has a dead-end built into it. Dead-ends cause retention problems.

Number 2 is a big one that I suspect goes unnoticed until people start leaving. But, it’s a fact of life. If you’re not creating new opportunities for folks they’ll eventually stagnate in their current role and then leave. They will probably leave to take a similar position to the one you hold with another company, because that is what your career plan has developed them into.

Many of us would take that as a sign of successful leadership, and it is. You’ve clearly developed your folks to be as good as you are, and they are seeking similar opportunities. It’s just a shame that your business couldn’t find a way to create those short of making you leave, huh?

There are other options, but you’re going to have to get serious about making many paths, and many opportunities. Otherwise, you’ll always have your best people maxing out their growth in your business and leaving.

Give them the opportunities they are looking for before they find them somewhere else.

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