Beverly Kaye, the Founder of Career Systems International, shares her thoughts on employee engagement and career development.
What do employees need from their managers to remain engaged?
Employees want five things:
1) The breadth of their skills to be utilized – not just what they were hired to do.
2) On-going feedback on how to grow and develop.
3) Information on how the company is adjusting to marketplace changes.
4) Multiple possibilities (projects, training, introductions) to expand skills and be challenged.
5) Exposure to new ideas and concepts.
What specific tips do you have for managers to ensure their employees remain engaged?
Be mindful of achieving “career fit” which is aligning a job not only to employee’s skills, but also to their interests and values. Too often we just fit the person to the job with skills alone. Yet, it’s important to align a job to an employee’s interests and values, as well. This will lead to their enjoyment and their commitment over time. To help uncover interest and values, managers should be asking a variety of questions on an ongoing basis. For example: “What part of your day do you like the most?” “What part do you dread?” “What gets consistently moved down on your to do list?”
Why is it so difficult to find time for career development?
Managers think career development is time consuming and process oriented. It doesn’t have to be. It can be as simple as a quick two-ten minute conversation about the work being done. Remember employees own their own career and need to be proactive, but not in a vacuum. Managers don’t have to have the answers, but they do have to have good questions. Keep in mind, employees will hesitate to raise career conversations if they think their managers aren’t interested. So remain curious, show interest, and ask questions to foster a strong and supportive development culture.