Lack of Career Path/No Mobility – Upper or Lateral

Part 2 of 5 in the People Leave series

Career paths and career ladders are traditional methods by which employees develop and progress within an organization. Career ladders are the progression of jobs in a particular field. Career paths can be more varied and may include career ladders or horizontal transitions. (SHRM). Whether you have a large organization where career paths and career ladders are well established and advertised or you are a small, growing company that wants to retain top performers, it’s important to identify the talent you have and why people work at your organization. People – even your top performers – will quit. Why they quit should never be a surprise to you (with the exception of when it’s a surprise to them, i.e., sudden life change, move, etc.).     

It’s not uncommon for people to leave their jobs because they believe there is no career path or ladder for them when in fact:

  • They’ve waited for a year for their performance review and weren’t offered a growth opportunity
  • Their manager has no idea that they’re not happy in their role or in their team
  • They don’t know (or buy into) the company’s vision or strategy for the future nor see how they can be a part of it

What you can do:

  • Have regular one on ones with your team.  What conversations are you saving for the annual (and dreaded) performance review?  
  • Check-in with people.  Are you dealing with someone with a risk-averse communication style who won’t speak up?
  • Speak often about the path forward with your team. Do your team members understand how their job fits into the big picture? Bonus points if you’re encouraging them to use their most natural talents in their current and future jobs.

People Leave

A 5 part series about what you can do to prepare for the inevitable.

One quick google search about “why people quit their jobs” generated 194,000,000 results. People leave their jobs for many reasons. This series is not about keeping people from leaving your company. It’s about the policies and strategies every company should have in place to weather the inevitable. People leave. Why they leave should never be a surprise to you with one exception: when it’s a surprise to them.

In this series, we will be discussing the most common reasons why people quit their jobs. Every single one of my clients has lost key employees for every single one of these reasons.

  • The problematic manager
  • Lack of career path/No mobility – upper or lateral
  • Disengagement (the grass is greener…)
  • The Bad Apple
  • Money (or is it?)

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of March 2019 there was 0.8 unemployed person for every job opening. In 2019, 68% of HR professionals report problems filling positions – up from 50% in 2013. Voluntary quits have increased.

Before you can prepare for the inevitable, it’s important to look at your current landscape relative to talent acquisition and engagement.

Hiring Process – does your hiring process really help you identify the best talent matches for your jobs? Your hiring process should make identifying the best match easier. In my experience organizations who have a hiring process and stick to it are more successful in filling their open roles with candidates whose talent best matches the role.

Job Descriptions – from my experience many organizations write exhaustive job descriptions that can only be mastered by a superhero. These 3-4 page documents are typically used in the recruiting process and then are rarely looked at again. Are your requirements realistic?

ATS – 90% of the Fortune 500 rely on an Applicant Tracking System that screens resumes based on keywords. If you’re not clear on the talent required to perform the job, an ATS won’t help you.

Employee Engagement – do you have an engagement strategy that makes people feel valued? I’m not talking about ping pong tables, free snacks or the state of the art espresso machine. Do you know if your staff is happy or not and why? If you don’t how will you know how to engage them?

Follow along as we discuss five common reasons people quit their jobs and what you can do to be prepared for each scenario. Join us next week when we’ll address The Problematic Manager.