path representing career growth

These days, more companies are following the trend of changing their organisational structure to reduce the number of layers in management hierarchy. Their goals are to introduce shorter paths of communication, more team based decision making, and a general sense of increased equality and involvement within the company. While implementing bureaucracy-busting moves in the organisation is done with good intentions, it is actually more beneficial to the company and its employees to have a structure that presents multiple promotional opportunities and chances for career advancement. A clear path for career growth heightens employees’ motivation and engagement and increases the rate of employee retention. 

carreer growthFirst, the motivation and engagement of employees is increased when they can see distinct opportunities for career advancement. They want to know that opportunities for promotion exist so that they can set goals for themselves and have something to work toward. More chances for career advancement also introduce a natural level of competition among employees that results in more effort and better results. Employees understand that if they don’t increase their productivity to prove they’re worthy of promotion, the job will most likely go to a coworker of theirs. This competition highlights and accentuates the efforts of the people willing to go the extra mile and show their commitment to the company. If layers of management are removed, there are less opportunities for lower level workers to advance their career in their respective company, therefore presenting less incentive to work harder.

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

The biggest benefit, however, to providing opportunities for career growth within the company is increased employee retention. Many people look to pivot their career and pursue new opportunities after a year or two. But If employees can see a way to achieve their career goals and advance their career within their respective company, they are less likely to leave. A study by Wisnik Career Enterprises, a New York based employment agency, asked people “What would be a compelling reason that would lead you to leave your job?” The most consistent answer was a lack of career growth. Similar studies yielded the same results; that an absence of promotional opportunities compelled employees to consider switching companies, even if they enjoyed working for their organisation and didn’t want to leave. Clearly, having a visible hierarchy within your company will entice employees to stay at the same company for a longer period of time to achieve the career goals that they set for themselves.

Maintain Structure Within Your Organisation

a light at the end of a tunnelOne thing to note is that it is imperative that managers communicate openly with their employees about the potential they see in them. If an employee is told by a manager how successful they can be and what they think the employee can achieve, the employee is more likely to remain in the company and work hard to fulfil their potential. People are less likely to leave their organisation if they haven’t yet achieved their goals and don’t want to let themselves or their managers down. 

All in all, having multiple layers of management and visible promotional opportunities within your organisation are beneficial to your employees and your business. Even if you think a clear path for career growth exists within your company, it might not be so obvious to your employees. Make sure to understand their perspective on the subject by communicating with them effectively. An easy way to do so is by using teambay, an online survey application that gives managers a way to ask their employees questions that are answered anonymously, resulting in constructive feedback that will help your organisation grow.

Author: Alex Weitzel