How to create genuine career opportunities that inspire people to stay

“Geoff has resigned.”
“Not Geoff! Why?”
“He said there weren’t enough career opportunities for him here.”
“Didn’t you tell him he’d be up for a promotion one day?”
“Well, yes, but we didn’t really talk about anything specific.”

Failing to engage your top workers with career opportunities will inevitably lead to their walking out the door. AbilityMap provides employers with the trusted data needed to drive genuine career conversations that will inspire your top talent to stay.

“Excellent career opportunities!”
“Opportunities for promotion!”
“Advancement opportunities for ambitious candidates!”

These phrases look familiar because they’re a standard part of career pages and job ads used by organisations everywhere. Sadly, they’re often a mistruth. In fact, nominated “Career Advancement” as one of the top three lies employers tell their workers.

It’s understandable in a talent war for companies to exaggerate career opportunities, but lying is a recruitment strategy that doesn’t pay off in the long term. Employees without a well-defined career path become disengaged and eventually leave, leading to an increase in recruitment costs.

A Mercer survey on career path clarity and employee retention found that:

  • Only 40% of employees say they have a well-defined path.
  • 26% said their employer does not make it easy to understand opportunities for advancement within the organisation.
  • 78% said they would remain longer with their employer if they saw a career path with the current organisation.

It’s clear that career path clarity drives retention, yet so many employers continue to complain about ‘job-hopping’ workers without taking action in this area. Even companies that conduct regular career-path discussions with employees often treat it as a box-ticking exercise and offer little more than vague promises of promotion to ambitious workers. 

Providing genuine career opportunities based on real data

With AbilityMap, employers can engage and inspire top performers to stay by cutting through the vague promises and having real, personalised, data-backed career path discussions.

The key is to objectively evaluate employees’ inherent preference capabilities to not only see their strengths and weaknesses in their current roles, but to identify opportunities for future advancement and how they develop to it.

For example, let’s say a project manager named Erin completes an AbilityMap Imprint. The results show that she’s highly skilled in several project management-related capabilities, such as setting goals. The results also reveal previously unrecognised leadership potential: Erin scored highly in several areas including motivating and leading others.

Erin’s manager arranges a meeting and talks her through the results, congratulating her on her strengths. They agree on a plan to build new skills to overcome her inherent low preference capabilities through a mix of training, coaching and mentoring.

Then the conversation turns to career opportunities:

“Erin, the evaluation data shows that you have the potential to be an excellent team leader and that you would enjoy this role. Would you consider stepping up to manage a small team by the end of the year? As you can see, you’re already proficient in these two leadership capabilities, but in the meantime we can coach you to develop your skills in these three other areas.”

Erin walks away from the meeting feeling motivated, engaged, and inspired to stay and grow. For the first time in months, she has clarity about her future with the organisation.

Informing lateral career moves

Alongside advancement opportunities, capability data can also be used to identify opportunities for lateral career moves. Stepping sideways into a different role on the same level can re-energise a bored employee, and it could even turn out that their skillsets are better suited to the new role. Job rotation has been recognised as a powerful way to boost motivation and retention while diversifying employee capabilities. 

“We love your work, Jim. This is your fourth year in your marketing role, and you’re consistently meeting every KPI. But I have a proposal for you – your AbilityMap results show that you’d be a great fit in a customer-facing role like sales. Would you like to give it a go?”

Failing to provide career path clarity will mean employees will eventually decide to build their own career paths; most likely outside of your organisation. Retain your top talent by engaging them with a data-based discussion that demonstrates real opportunities for a bright future within your company.

See AbilityMap in Action

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