Strategies for Engaging Your New, Early and Career-Pivoting Employees to Succeed
Employees continue to leave their jobs at a rapid pace, so engaging with them early in their tenure empowers both the employee and the employer.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labors Statistics, over the last year, the rate of people quitting their jobs in the United States has reached highs not seen since the start of its Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey program in December 2000.
While extrapolations using historical quit-rate data for manufacturing suggest the U.S. economy exhibited even higher quit rates in the 1960s and 1970s, the recent quit rates are too high to be explained solely by labor market tightening and whether workers who have quit their jobs are taking new ones or leaving the labor force altogether.
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Regardless, the shrinking labor force is unprecedented, and with its impacts still reverberating throughout the business environment, it will be crucial that companies adjust their people strategy to stay successful.
Because when your early career employees aren’t set up to succeed—or even those employees pivoting into a new career—the company itself is likely to suffer the same fate.
“Typically, it’s only when preparing their employees for a promotion do companies start the process of developing their people. But with accelerated timelines and a multitude of external factors exerting internal pressure, people are moving into leadership positions earlier in their careers,” said Cory Simon, owner of Executive Image Consulting in Minneapolis.
Companies are finding themselves rethinking their succession planning, adjusting their people strategy, and even investing in early-career employees—or those transitioning from another career—not only to prop up new employees but to build the strongest future possible for the organization, he noted.
Fortunately, there are several strategies you can implement to help your organization take on these shifts in the culture of work while setting your teams up for long-term success, Simon said.
No time like the present
On Day 1, begin having development conversations about what an employee wants out of a career and the skills needed to achieve their goals, he said. Make a plan for building those strategic skills so that your employee has confidence in the progress of their career, right out of the gate.
Bring them into the fold
Give new employees access to organizational meetings and strategic planning sessions where decisions are made. This way, they can learn the business and see firsthand the leadership skills from senior leaders while perhaps imparting their own perspective.
Engage them with more roles and responsibilities, like leading meetings, managing a project team, or representing the organization at a conference.
Investing in mentorship programs are invaluable for both inter-organizational connections and giving early-career employees an avenue for networking and asking questions. Reverse mentoring is also a powerful way to build inclusion, transparency, and growth within an organization, he recommended.
Attractive benefits package
Innovative and creative perks and bonuses provide a huge value and can include everything from free food and multiple months of paid time off for new parents to surprise trips and vacation bonuses. Normally reserved for senior employees, this can be a huge draw for early or mid-career employees, and a big boost to their skills and careers.
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Remember, investing in early-career employees is about developing individuals while revitalizing your own people strategy. Though not every early-career employee you develop will be with you long term, the people who do stay and move into leadership will be equipped to lead excellent teams, while the people who leave will have great things to say to their growing network about your organization, Simon explained.
The past few years have really opened the door to creative and important strategies companies need to recruit and develop people and culture. It’s better to have a hand in shaping future leaders the way you yourself would like to be led, because if they’re doing good out there, it reflects back on you.
“And you never know,” Simon said. “They just might come back to work for you and your job is already done. “
Michael Beachum is an independent writer in Dallas.