Career conversations in times of change

Being agile and responsive is the name of the game for most businesses in today’s economic climate. Change is constant and to stay ahead of the game, people are being pushed to work differently all the time. Those days where you had a job for life are over. As businesses adapt and reinvent themselves so jobs change; people join; people leave and that’s the way it has to be, as a constant.

The link between the business and people strategy is now more than ever fundamental to business success. Being able to deploy the right skills at the right time requires current and accurate data from which to work. Businesses need their people now more than ever, so gaining detailed understanding of everyone’s career aspirations, motivators, strengths and weaknesses will help ensure the right people are engaged at the right time, and morale and productivity remain on a high.

With the war on talent, it can be hard for some businesses to think of letting go of skilled workers, however, with this new business paradigm, it should be expected that those people who have contributed now, may not be able to, or want to contribute in the future. Ensuring your strategies prepare for a healthy churn will ensure expectations are managed and potential redundancies less painful on everyone involved.

Being an employer of choice is not just about attracting and retaining the right people. It is about providing them with an experience that meets their career aspirations throughout their employment, including the day they leave. Having career conversations as early as the induction is important. Discussing the next career move is a healthy way of aligning personal and business goals, but also to agree that the job is not a job for life and that the next move might very well be within another organisation.

This of course shouldn’t come as a threat! But instead give them the confidence to think big; enter into employment knowing they’re going to have a fantastic experience, develop new skills, get some great achievements under their belt and then, in time, when change requires it, they can move on confidently to new ventures.

To do this effectively though, managers need to have the right skills to tease out the information and the dedication to ensure each team member has the opportunity to develop against their career aspirations. Replacing old fashioned appraisal and performance management systems with real, honest and current conversations will not only manage expectations from both the employee/employer perspective, it will ensure the right people are being given the right opportunities, motivation and engagement remains on a high and people genuinely feel valued.

At Penny Strutton Ltd, not only do we work with individuals to identify their career plans, we provide training on coaching and career planning techniques to managers to enable them to carry out these fundamental conversations, embedding them firmly in the culture of the organisation.

If your organisation is ready to make a shift in its retention strategy, get in touch to find out how we can help!