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How to Embrace Employee Career Goals to Boost Engagement and Loyalty

Posted by Sandy Yu on 9.24.2019


Finding the right people to build your team takes a good deal of time, effort, and purposeful employee engagement. You have to focus on combining the right personalities to create perfect chemistry. And this must be balanced with simultaneously finding team members with the right skills to turn out the highest quality work possible.

When you finally get it right, the last thing you want is to have someone move on to a different opportunity.

This is where employee engagement takes a bigger step. You can encourage your team to succeed now and help them realize, pursue, and accomplish their greater career goals.

Here’s how a few experts are helping their teams dream bigger and realize how much potential they have right where they are.

Help employees build their sense of self.

Some employees may not have a clear vision of their dream career when they start with a company. So the first step we take is to help those employees build their sense of self, embrace their strengths, and uncover their own values and purposes. This can be achieved through effective mentoring, assignment of a career coach or carefully planned small group workshops.

The second step, is to convey that the organization deeply values diversity, so there's no need for cookie-cutter career paths. When we feel our unique way of being, and our unique way of expressing ourselves at work, is truly valued, we start to be able to dream the dream. People start to think 'maybe I can fully express who I am right here right now in this workplace.'

The third and final step, is for the leaders in the organization to be genuinely concerned about facilitating their teams to achieve all they can. If employees are not fulfilling their dreams, look to the leaders first for the source of the problem. Inspired leaders set out to truly empower all around them and help others make their dreams a reality as their career unfolds. They provide unconditional support and employees can really feel it both practically and emotionally.

Dr. Stewart Desson, CIPD Chartered Fellow and CEO at Lumina Learning

Make your team’s career goals a priority from the start.

The first thing we do when an employee starts is assess their needs and desires within the role. We ask questions like, ‘What drew you to this role? What's your dream position? What skills would you like to learn that you may not have already?’

This type of employee engagement gives our team an outlet to voice what they're truly looking for. During this conversation, we take notes on the responses from the employee to look back on over the upcoming quarters. Then I try to create a plan that I think will set up the employee for success.

Every week, I set up check-ins with the employee to see how they're doing and check on their role satisfaction. This gives them the opportunity to provide feedback on the role and if the plan is providing the right amount of support in the career development they crave.

Ciara Hautau, Lead Digital Marketing Strategist at Fueled

Identify employees’ individual goal needs.

The specific type of employee engagement depends on what each individual needs. For some, it means giving them flexible hours or the ability to work remotely; For others, it means building and hosting their website, or giving them a good reference when they get the opportunity to leave for their dream company. You have to think about the individual, the type of dream they have, and how you can best support them as they pursue their dreams. If you don't know, ask!

We’ve helped many employees pursue their dreams. One employee started her own social media company. This meant she needed flexible hours and the ability to take meetings and host events that we weren’t part of.

We allowed another employee to work from the road while she toured with her band. Others had dreams of living in different parts of the world. We supported those dreams by allowing them to continue working for us from their dream locations.

Taylor Hill & Carter Harkins, Founders of Spark Marketer and Closing Commander™

Recognize employees’ motivations.

Finding out what motivates your employees is essential to achieving top-level productivity and building an effective and satisfied team. It's also central to retaining great talent long-term; if your best people can't realize their goals under your roof, they'll go somewhere they can.

Employees are naturally more engaged and more focused when they feel they're working towards something, and not simply treading water. Get on the same page and show you're willing to support them in achieving that goal, and you'll see true engagement that benefits the whole company.

We create clear progression plans for our consultants. We find out early on what their professional ambitions are and do our best to align those with our company mission. It's a strategy I've personally benefited from enormously. I always had dreams to see the world, to live in new places and push myself to thrive in new environments.

When I joined Frank Recruitment Group I was living in London. I wanted to see a new city, and the company laid out a plan for me to get there, allowing me to achieve goals both professionally and personally.

In the past two years, my career progression has taken me to Philadelphia and now to Tampa. I'm always looking for ways I can pay this forward. I work closely with my teams to get them where they want to be, whether that's in a particular role or a whole new country.

Ian Clark, Head of Americas at Frank Recruitment Group


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Topics: employee engagement

Human Resources Today