Article: Help your employees figure out their career goals

Employee Engagement

Help your employees figure out their career goals

If your employees don't know their career goals for the next five years, you can help steer them to the right direction. Just don't push them too hard.
Help your employees figure out their career goals

There is an option for employees today to climb up the career ladder or create their own career portfolio to expand their horizons. The traditional way of rising the ranks is no longer the norm.

But what if employees don’t know where their career path is headed? What if they don’t know their goals or plans for the next five years?

You as their employer can guide and support them, especially if they’re feeling unsure about what to do. It doesn’t mean that you will force your plans upon them. What you can do is guide them as they figure out the direction their career path is taking. 

Chances are that your employees know what’s best for them. But you can add different aspects to how they will figure things out: for instance, you can let them know their strengths and weaknesses so they can choose which job fits them perfectly.

Are they fit for management, or should they stay in a team as an individual? Perhaps they can move into a different department that might better suit their interests?

Supporting your employees by helping them determine their career goals must be at the heart of every company policy. It even helps you align your goals and values with that of your employees’.

Below are some tips you can follow when helping your employee figure out their career goals.

How to guide your employees in figuring out their career goals

  1. Make a career outline so that they can visualise their career at the company. You can help your employee identify certain milestones for achievement as well as the resources that will likely support them along their journey. Be sure that communicate directly and clearly the career advancement steps you can provide to them.

  2. Help your employees determine patterns. Most employees don’t know what they’re passionate about, but most of them have a good sense of what they find interesting or what they like. In an article published in the Harvard Business Review, Dorie Clark explained that employees must reflect on their preferences so that they could understand what it means for their long-term aspirations. You can help your employees do this by asking them what they enjoy the most and least in their current position, and which areas they are curious about. Clark also says that it’s useful to talk about where they naturally excel.

  3. Broaden your employees’ horizons by expanding their worldview. Clark says that for others, it might be easy to find patterns by determining their preferences and interests. However, this isn’t the case for others, particularly for those whose positions are narrow. Clark says you can provide an opportunity for your employees to try new things, like presenting at an all-hands meeting, serving a cross-departmental committee, or attending an industry conference they’ve never been to.

  4. Don’t push your employees too hard. Once you help your employees find the right direction for their career, don’t get a little too attached in the outcome. Clark says you might take it personally if your employee don’t decide to take up an activity that you think they’re good at. You as an employer must recognise that you’re here to support your employees in their ambitions and not to dictate them.

Giving unflinching support to your employees while they figure out their career goals will provide you the chance to align your company goals with theirs. You can steer your employees’ career goals in the direction they want to without dictating the result.

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Topics: Employee Engagement, Culture

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