Many of today's job seekers are motivated by the opportunity for continued growth with their employers. If your organization doesn't offer employees the option to move up the career ladder or learn new skills, you risk losing your best team members to other employers. 

Researchers at LinkedIn recently looked at 32 million LinkedIn profiles to create what the team calls a "retention curve." As part of the findings, the data shows that employees who switch roles at their companies are more likely to stay on board for the long run. And this data isn't just referring to employees who get promoted. 

According to the LinkedIn study, employees who are promoted have a 70 percent chance of staying on board and those who make a lateral move have a 62 percent chance of staying. On the other hand, employees who remain in their current position for three years or longer only have a 45 percent chance of remaining.

What can your organization do to prevent employees from growing stagnant in their roles and, as a result, seeking other job opportunities? I've outlined a few tips below. 

1. Build defined, attainable career paths.

Before employees even join your team, they're likely eager to learn about the career paths you have to offer while they're researching job opportunities. On your company careers page and in your job descriptions, it's important to highlight career paths, as doing so will help you attract top talent for your open roles. 

On the career site, list the potential paths for various roles across departments at your organization and include examples of employees who have grown in the paths. Also share direct testimonials from some of your top employees who have risen through the ranks. 

Once employees get started on your team, outline clear expectations so they have a full understanding of what it takes to get promoted. For each role, outline measurable goals employees need to achieve to reach the next level, and set up regular check-ins to see how employees are tracking to these goals. Also provide training and professional development opportunities, so employees know you're invested in supporting their continued growth. 

2. Encourage employees to try different roles. 

In some cases, employees can be a great fit for your company but realize they're not entirely satisfied with their specific role. But when new roles they're interested in open up, your employees might be hesitant to reach out or apply for fear of its being frowned upon or offending their managers.

To boost engagement and build long-term engagement, your organization should support a culture that encourages internal career moves. 

One step you can take to support employees interested in new roles is by sharing your new open roles with the team internally before posting them to external job boards or career sites. Make it clear that employees are welcome to apply, as long as they first touch base with their managers about their interest and overall career goals. 

When employees don't end up receiving an offer for the new role, managers can work with employees on an individual basis to ensure the company is supporting their long-term career growth.

On my team of more than 200 employees, we've had many employees who have switched teams -- in some cases, multiple times -- and it often works out for the better, both for the employee and the company.

One Hireology employee started out on the sales side and is now a product manager. Another worked in sales and customer support before landing on our business operations team. 

We continuously encourage internal career moves on my team, because we want to keep our best employees for the long run and ensure they're both engaged and achieving their career goals.

Any step you can take to keep your top employees on board is critical in today's competitive hiring market. Empowering employees to grow in their careers -- either through promotions or other internal career moves -- can help you boost employee loyalty and set up your team for long-term success as a result.

Published on: Nov 21, 2019
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