Employee To Alumnus: Why Develop Career Paths For Your Top Talent

Develop career paths for your best people to boost long-term talent retention, even after they exit the business.

It’s no secret: businesses that focus on developing employee career paths see better retention in the long term. When employees have a clearer view of their career progression at a place of work, they tend to remain in the organization longer. 

This can be true even if a person doesn’t always carry the label of ‘permanent staff.’ Talent can continue to contribute to business intelligence at their former place of employment as contractors, freelancers, consultants, seasonal, or contingent workers. They can also do this over any time frame, whether today, tomorrow, or a few years down the line. Retention has a new angle, and that’s lifelong ambassadorship.   

So, how does career development link to talent retention for the long run? And what is in it for the business?

Four Ways Businesses Can Benefit From Providing Career Development Plan Assistance To Employees

1. Employees Become Future-Focused

When employees are empowered to have a hand in their own career development, they naturally look towards the future. Instead of simply filling a seat and ticking off tasks every day, they are far more likely to be interested in the company’s future, where it’s headed, and how they can contribute to its success in the long run. 

This is because they know that they will benefit from business growth since there is scope for career growth. The type of innate employee engagement that follows in the wake of a realization like this can be a complete game-changer on the productivity and employee satisfaction front.

2. Skills Gaps Are More Easily Discovered and Addressed

For an employee to advance effectively along their career path, they have to understand where their skills gaps lie and what experience they need. This is another way in which career-building assistance can be of exceptional value for both employers and employees. 

So, instead of telling an employee where they need to grow and develop within the business, they are intrinsically motivated to do so themselves. Then, in spaces where learning and development opportunities are freely offered, these future superstars can get to work to enable themselves towards success.

3. Your Business Gets An Employer Brand Boost

Talented individuals weigh their employment options very carefully when they move from one place of work to another. This includes looking long and hard at the talent and employment branding, company culture, and how a given business treats its employees. Once it becomes known that a company offers its workforce career planning support and upskilling opportunities, it immediately reflects positively on them as employers. This, in turn, attracts top talent to the trenches.

4. Alumni Become An Engaged Part Of Your Business Ecosystem

When a business is openly supportive of staying active in a person’s professional and personal development, even after they move on, it can carve out a space for continued engagement in the future. 

Part of this involves planning career paths around the fact that employees may leave before returning. And this does happen. After all, employees don’t always say goodbye to a company because they were unhappy in their employment. 

They might want to freelance to take on a wider variety of projects. Or they may want to be at home with children or need to take care of an elderly relative. They may simply want to take a break and see what else is out there. 

Whatever the case may be, it pays to stay in touch with departing employees. They go on to become outstanding brand advocates and can send new talent your way. Or they can tell their new employers about your company and drum up fresh business. 

As such, it only makes sense to involve them in your alumni community by leaning in with a clear value proposition. As far as career planning goes, there are opportunities around the promise of continued learning, mentorship placements, and involvement in CSR initiatives, to name a few. 

Tips On How To Develop Workable Career Paths

Empower Your Team With Information On The Future Of Your Organization

For an employee to set realistic and achievable career goals, they need to know where your company is headed in years to come. What are your company goals? Will there be room for growth in new areas of your business? Make this information available through an organizational chart and business plan.

Clearly Define Jobs Within Your Business, Along With KPIs

When shooting for a promotion or lateral shift, employees must know what they are letting themselves in for. What are the responsibilities in each position, and how is success measured?

Map Out Where Departments and Teams Are Headed

When an employee joins your organization at entry-level, it should be clear to them what they can do and how they can advance up the ladder.

Offer Training and Development

The best way to empower your employees to grow is to give them the means to upskill and lean into new functions in-house.

Consider Making Learning Plans A Part Of Job Requirements

When employees are tasked to commit to a learning plan throughout their employment, their road to success is often a lot smoother.

Final Thoughts

Assisting your employees with a career development plan holds impressive benefits for your business. Employees become more future-focused, and skills gaps are more easily discovered and addressed. Additionally, your business gets a welcome employer brand boost, and alumni become an engaged part of your business ecosystem.

When developing workable career paths, managers and HR leaders should focus on empowering their team with information in the future of their organization and clearly defining jobs within the business along with KPIs. 

Remember to map out where departments and teams are heading and offer training and development opportunities. Also, consider making learning plans a part of job requirements at your place of business. 

For more information on how an alumni program can work for you, get in touch with the EnterpriseAlumni team today.

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