When building careers the ideal career path would be smooth and clear of obstacles. Such a path can be highly motivating: encourage you staff to follow it by offering them the support they need to develop the abilities that will ultimately take them on and up.
One of the best ways of helping staff in their career progress is by issuing short-term “assignments”, which give people the chance to show both their mettle and their ability. Opportunities of this type are fewer under the old-style, hierarchical methods of career development in which people stay in one job for a set length of time before moving up the ladder. Look out for any chance to broaden staff confidence and experience by giving people tasks, either singly or in a group, that lie outside their normal work. Take an interest in their progress, and debrief often. While your staff are learning, you learn what they can do.
Most people – possibly unconsciously – undergo a process of self-actualisation, moving by trial and error towards the field that suits them best and in which they can achieve to the utmost of their ability. As they grow out of one “phase”, they move on. Most people start out with a narrrow range of skills and interests; as that broadens, so will their career path. Perspectives will shift, too, from short term to long. As confidence increases so will self-control and self-awareness. Watch for these signs, and accentuate the positive through regular communication. Ensure that personal goals and the job remain in step, or the person will lose motivation and you will probably lose the person.
There are many reasons why a person’s performance might suffer, so do not pass judgement until you have taken the time to talk through any problems. You may find that the career path is being blocked by what the person sees as an immovable obstacle. Find out what it is and move it, or you risk losing valuable staff members.
If you are looking for a new job or recruiting in the legal, HR or finance profession, please contact us today and arrange a consultation. We provide a tailored, personalised service. Contact Siobhan Courtney on 07970 252772.
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