Career Development and Employee Retention
The month of August has been a politically busy one for Kenyans. It was a chance for Kenyans to ‘sit’ through numerous interviews and select (or fire) the right candidates (or poor performers) that would ‘take away all (or had not taken away) their economic problems. The interviewees had lengthy ‘CVs’ (manifestos) with the common message being, job creation, better infrastructure, and economic stability. The current unemployment rate is 5.7%; with a working population of 59% according to the World Bank Data, 50% of millennials and Gen Z. Employers have been keen to attract and retain the right talent just like Kenyans. According to a study by Robert Walters in 2021, one of the top three reasons millennials and Gen Z change jobs was better career development opportunities. Career development is the continuous process of improving skills with the aim of career progression. It is important for employees because it gives them a sense of purpose, growth, and satisfaction.
The first step in promoting career development within an organization is to encourage managers to talk to their teams individually about their career interests/plans. Career development plans lists employees’ short and long-term goals in relation to their current role and projected future roles. The plans should clearly outline the skills possessed by the employees and the skills required for career progression with respect to organizational goals. There are a number of ways that an Organization can show its commitment to an employee’s career growth:
- Having a policy driven career development plan; where staff is supported in identifying areas that will help them to grow within the organization (through promotions).
- Encouraging mentorship and coaching plans where senior employees provide guidance to junior staff to assist in developing the next line of managers through Management Development programs.
- They are supporting employees to access External Training by either paying tuition fees for the staff or inviting external trainers to train the staff on-site. With technology, organizations are also able to partner with e-learning platform providers, therefore, creating a Learning Culture within the organization cost-effectively.
- Organizing Internal Training within the organization, where departmental heads, top leadership, and employees participate as facilitators or trainers.
Employers can reap the following benefits by supporting employee’s career development:
- Staff retention: Employees feel valued when the employer invests time and/or money in them, therefore increasing their chances of staying. By improving retention, an organization is assured of continuity through succession planning.
- Employer Brand: In a competitive market, a learning culture helps to create a good employer brand hence the organization will attract and retain good talent.
- Productivity & Engagement: self-development equips employees with the right skills to perform their duties; This improves productivity and engagement.
For a more detailed discussion, YOU are invited to join us for an SME Employers breakfast roundtable on the 14th of October at Java House, Garden City where 25 SME business owners and our I-manage human resource experts will discuss Employee Retention strategies for small business owners.