How to Fight Career Plateaus in Your Organization

As Jeff Boss explains, there are 5 Signs Your Employee is in Dire Need of a Promotion:

  1. They only complain ‘up.’
  2. They find solutions.
  3. They hold their peers accountable.
  4. They shift their thinking from ‘me’ to ‘we.’
  5. They outperform their peers.

But what happens if you don’t give him or her the promotion needed? The obvious path is the employee will leave the organization and take his or her talents somewhere else.

Another option is hitting a career plateau. A career plateau is hitting a roadblock of sorts in your career where there is no upward mobility within the organization. Employees who feel their careers have plateaued could be less engaged, less productive, and have lower job satisfaction.

Here are three proactive ways that you can prevent your employees’ careers from plateauing before it happens!

Encourage Employees to Apply for Openings

Organizations benefit from fresh talent all the time. The same can go for internal departments. When a current employee transfers to a different department it can be very beneficial for both the organization and the employee.

The employee already knows the culture and what the organization is about, which means the “new” hire is essentially skipping the first month of a new job. Additionally, he or she can bring knowledge from another area in the company and improve existing processes. Many employees are fearful of applying for internal positions because they don’t want to offend their current supervisors. Let employees know that internal applicants are not just accepted for new openings, but they are encouraged!

Pay Attention to Employees’ Competencies

Since our economy has come out of the recession the job market is a different place. College graduates may have taken jobs that left them underemployed, and possibly underutilized. Which means you might have an untapped resource on your hands.

During the recession some companies cut back on hiring. As a result, a graphic designer may have taken a more entry-level job in an unrelated department. Don’t let those skills go to waste! If you know of someone who can benefit from cross training, find opportunities for him or her! There might not be a full time opening in the department, but six hours a week on your creative team can stimulate an employee’s interest and add fresh blood to other areas of your organization.

Don’t Let Employees Get too Comfortable

Change is not always a bad thing. While there are some employees that do what they need to do and are satisfied by that approach, others want to be challenged and constantly develop new skills.

Allow employees to join task forces or special teams to mix up their job duties. If there is an industry conference the company regularly attends, don’t always send the same people, give others a chance to learn and engage. If the budget allows for it, give tuition assistance or reimbursement for continuing education. When employees are back in school they can learn new trends and keep your organization up to date while bettering themselves as employees.

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