Winnipeg Free Press - Section H - - CAREERS -

Con­sult em­ploy­ees — Em­ploy­ees want to be part of plan­ning for their ca­reer within their or­ga­ni­za­tion. They don’t want to be dic­tated to. They don’t want to be blocked. Em­ploy­ees want to be in­volved in as­sign­ments that in­ter­est them and al­lowed to have some choice. They want to know what they will learn from each as­sign­ment and how this will help them progress in their ca­reer. Ask what in­ter­ests your em­ploy­ees.

Be hon­est and trans­par­ent — Man­agers need to know the ca­reer paths avail­able within your or­ga­ni­za­tion. Be hon­est with em­ploy­ees about what is re­quired to achieve each level. For in­stance, if pro­gres­sive re­lo­ca­tions are re­quired for se­nior-level roles, then be hon­est and make this in­for­ma­tion known. If the work sched­ules re­quire long hours that af­fect family life-work bal­ance, peo­ple need to know this ahead of time.

Pro­vide in-depth learn­ing as­sign­ments — High-po­ten­tial em­ploy­ees want to be re­spon­si­ble for some­thing; they want to take on projects where they can make mis­takes, learn from them and develop ex­per­tise. En­sure the as­sign­ments are chal­leng­ing and stretch their skills.

As­sign ac­tive men­tors — Pro­vide a for­mal men­tor­ing process with a more se­nior leader who truly shows an in­ter­est in the mentee. This en­sures that the in­di­vid­ual has ac­cess to advice when needed and en­ables the or­ga­ni­za­tion to be in tune with the needs, in­ter­ests and in­ten­tions of the em­ployee.

Share em­ployee value — Peo­ple want to feel val­ued, no mat­ter what they do in your or­ga­ni­za­tion. There is no ex­cuse as this can be done eas­ily ev­ery day of the year. Give em­ploy­ees praise, say thank you fre­quently, stop and talk to them about family, friends and per­sonal in­ter­ests. Make their ac­com­plish­ments known to col­leagues.

Cre­ate vis­i­bil­ity — Pro­vide vis­i­bil­ity op­por­tu­ni­ties for your em­ploy­ees to share the lime­light. Showcase their work, in­vite them to write an ar­ti­cle in the com­pany news­let­ter, or as­sign them to lead a high-pro­file project. In­vite these em­ploy­ees to con­duct lunch-and-learn ses­sions as this en­hances vis­i­bil­ity as well as brings them recog­ni­tion for their ac­com­plish­ments.

En­hance in­di­vid­ual learn­ing — Prac­ti­cal, hands-on learn­ing needs to be ac­com­pa­nied by more for­mal learn­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties that teach spe­cific lead­er­ship skills. En­sure that em­ploy­ees see a pro­gres­sion of skills that can be put to use im­me­di­ately as well as stretch the em­ploy­ees. In­ves­ti­gate univer­sity-and col­lege-level cor­po­rate train­ing pro­grams where in­di­vid­u­als can meet and be­gin to build an ex­panded net­work.

Sup­port pro­fes­sional net­work­ing — In ad­di­tion to tal­ent, con­nec­tions, and link­ages, per­sonal re­la­tion­ships are key to pro­fes­sional suc­cess. En­rol your em­ploy­ees in pro­fes­sional as­so­ci­a­tions, in­dus­try-sec­tor groups or other in­ter­est groups so they be­come a known en­tity and can develop broad-based re­la­tion­ships.

En­cour­age com­mu­nity ser­vice — Much can be learned through vol­un­teerism. High per­form­ing em­ploy­ees will jump at the chance to con­trib­ute and learn in the not-for-profit sec­tor. Se­lect an or­ga­ni­za­tion that is in align­ment with your cor­po­rate goals. En­cour­age the ac­cep­tance of lead­er­ship roles that also en­hance vis­i­bil­ity, net­work­ing and re­la­tion­ships.

Place em­ploy­ees on the suc­ces­sion ma­trix — Work with your man­agers to develop a com­pany-wide ma­trix that out­lines your suc­ces­sion plan. Place each em­ployee’s name where their ca­reer path might take them. Ac­tively re­view this list and en­sure that when op­por­tu­ni­ties arise, em­ploy­ees are con­sid­ered for the new op­por­tu­nity.

Com­mu­ni­cate, com­mu­ni­cate, com­mu­ni­cate — Many or­ga­ni­za­tions fail to in­form their em­ployee they are val­ued and that there is a ca­reer path for them in the or­ga­ni­za­tion. Let the em­ployee know what op­por­tu­ni­ties are avail­able over­all and be sure to let peo­ple know about the learn­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties and as­sign­ments that will get them there.

Con­duct exit in­ter­views

— You aren’t go­ing to sat­isfy ev­ery­one all of the time, so ex­pect some in­di­vid­u­als to leave your or­ga­ni­za­tion. How­ever, it is important you con­duct exit in­ter­views so that you can test out the rea­sons for the exit. In­for­ma­tion gleaned from these in­ter­views can as­sist with all of your re­cruit­ment and re­ten­tion ef­forts.

Seek em­ployee in­put — Or­ga­ni­za­tions with high re­ten­tion rates con­sult their em­ploy­ees through sat­is­fac­tion sur­veys, fo­cus groups, monthly meet­ings, and pro­grams such as break­fast with the pres­i­dent. Em­ploy­ees who feel their opin­ions mat­ter are much more en­gaged and will be in­ter­ested in stay­ing with your firm.

Fair and eq­ui­table com­pen­sa­tion — While salary and ben­e­fits are important, what is more important is the per­cep­tion of fair­ness for the work be­ing done. If em­ploy­ees do not feel fairly com­pen­sated and can­not rec­tify that, they will start look­ing else­where. Be sure you are pay­ing mar­ket rates and that your ben­e­fits are at­trac­tive.

Cre­ate a sense of own­er­ship — While some em­ploy­ees are fear­ful of true em­ployee own­er­ship op­por­tu­ni­ties, there are many ways to cre­ate an em­ployee own­er­ship cul­ture. Or­ga­ni­za­tions that have an “own­er­ship” cul­ture in­volve em­ploy­ees in real de­ci­sion mak­ing re­lated to their job. This helps them to make de­ci­sions that are fo­cused on the over­all mis­sion and vi­sion and helps them to think strate­gi­cally.

While it’s al­ways wise to pay ex­tra at­ten­tion to em­ploy­ees who ex­hibit the sum­mer va­ca­tion blues, ap­ply­ing con­sis­tent em­ployee en­gage­ment strate­gies such as those de­scribed above will help to cre­ate an en­er­gized and sat­is­fied work­force year round.

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