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.