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Career Pathing as a Retention Strategy – How Manager-Led Development Keeps Employees Engaged

By Numly - Leadership Coaching Group
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In 2022, Gartner predicted the annual turnover rate to be as high as 24% in the years to come. This worries most organizations because replacing an employee could cost 5.8% to 213% of their salary, depending on their job and skills. 

There could be various reasons for the high turnover rates – ranging from better pay, flexibility, and lack of motivation to lack of direction or motivation. According to a study conducted by Glassdoor, employees with a clear career path were less likely to leave an organization. 

That’s why career pathing has become so crucial in modern workplaces.

What Is Career Pathing and Why Is It Important?

Gartner defines career pathing as a process of mapping the employees’ career growth with the organization’s priorities. The managers and HR consider the employee’s career objectives, skills, and interests and encourage them to participate in learning and development programs to learn and contribute to the organization’s growth.

Career pathing benefits organizations and employees. Employees can learn new skills and prepare to advance in their careers, and organizations can build a talent pool of future-ready employees.

Since managers are employees’ first point of contact, they play a crucial role in developing career paths. 

Read: Retaining Top Talent with The Right Career Pathing

How Can Manager-Led Development Engage Employees?

Modern workplaces are undergoing a vast transition. The learning and development (L&D) team is not solely responsible for designing career paths. Managers are equally expected to contribute to this process. In fact, the L&D teams expect managers to play a bigger role in coaching employees.

This has resulted in manager-led development programs. In manager-led development programs, managers take the lead in coaching and developing employees. They identify the employees’ strengths and weaknesses, design personalized career paths, set goals, and provide regular feedback to help them grow in their careers. They have to be actively involved throughout the training journey. 

Manger-led development helps in the following:

  • Building Employee Engagement

According to LinkedIn’s 2021 survey, professional development was ranked as the no. 1 thing organizations must do to improve their culture. Employees prefer to work in a culture conducive to their growth. By investing in career development, managers can build trust, improve employee engagement, and make employees feel valued. 

  • Improving Employee Retention

According to a 2019 Workforce Learning report, 94% of employees said they would stay longer if the organization invested in their learning. At a time when attrition is high, personalized career pathing will help managers retain employees. It will save their efforts of finding replacements and training them. 

  • Improving Talent Acquisition

GitLab includes a section called Career Ladder in their job descriptions, which shows how an employee can grow in this career path within the organization. Organizations can attract and acquire skilled employees by showing commitment to supporting career pathing.

  • Facilitating Business Growth

Several studies have shown the correlation between talented and motivated employees and business growth. Manager-led development programs can improve the organization’s overall culture and facilitate growth.

How Can Managers Build Career Paths for Employees?

Here are a few ways in which managers can initiate the career pathing process:

  • Start by Communicating with the Team

Discuss career goals, opportunities in the organization, and the benefits of career path planning with employees. Discuss each employee’s skills gap and strengths and work with them to chart their future roadmap. Such conversations will make employees feel included and accountable for their career growth.

  • Align Employees’ Interests with the Organization’s Goals

Conversations will help managers understand employees’ interests and career goals. Check how their career goals can be aligned with the organization’s goals. For example, the organization might want to fill job roles for emerging technologies. Check if the employees have similar career plans and build a career path that helps both achieve their goals. 

  • Build a Personalized Career Path

No two employees in the same team and designation are the same. They have varying skills, knowledge, and experience. Hence, assess every employee’s existing skills and experience and create a personalized career path to help them advance to the next stage.

  • Set Expectations

Define the goals and provide employees with the resources to achieve them. A manager must also dedicate time to coach the employees throughout the training program to help them achieve their goals, build a sense of accountability, and motivate them to complete the training. For example, they must identify the limiting beliefs that stop employees from attaining the goal, create a non-judgmental space for employees to express their concerns and thoughts, and build trust. 

  • Monitor Performance

Conduct weekly or monthly performance reviews to monitor the employees’ progress, give them feedback, discuss their performance, and ensure they are on the right path. Remember, this is not a one-time exercise. Managers must assess the outcomes, remove obstacles, and guide employees throughout the journey to encourage them to complete the training.

How Can a Coaching Platform Help Managers Build Career Paths? 

Career pathing and coaching are continuous processes. Besides managing the usual business, managers must also design personalized career paths for each employee, monitor progress, and coach them to improve training outcomes and retain employees.

None of this is possible without a tool. Managers need the right tools, guidance, training, and coaching to create and manage the career paths for their teams. 

That’s where  NumlyEngage™  helps. NumlyEngage™ is a coaching platform that helps organizations build better leaders and teams. It offers carefully curated content, pulse surveys, and real-time engagement analytics that help managers coach their teams and create an engaging environment in the workplace. We are offering a 60-day pilot of NumlyEngage™ that can provide the people managers in your organization an opportunity to improve their leadership skills.

To know more about this 60-day pilot, contact us.

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