The face of your candidate pool has likely changed a great deal in the last 20 years. We know that people are moving from one job to the next more quickly these days. But is that a problem? Yes, you spend time training only to have them leave in many cases, but at the same time you are able to hire “new blood,” which brings other experience and ideas into your business.
What are the stats?
The facts and figures of employees in the workforce have also changed dramatically in the past 20 years.
- People now have an expected 100 year lifespan.
- Most people will work 60-70 years during that lifetime.
- Two income households has increased to impact more than half of Americans.
- College graduation has increased to 44% in 2009 versus only 27% in 1992.
- Average time spent in a job is 4.5 years.
- Skills learned on the job will only last 5 years.
Think career lattice – not career ladder
Employees and managers often think of growth and development as looking for the next promotion. But that isn’t always the way to grow, and often not what your employees are looking for. Not everyone is cut out for leadership, but everyone can learn new things and add value to your team. The idea of the career lattice is to help employees develop and pick up new skills, without necessarily giving them additional pay or titles. Employees today want to learn and grow, but they are often less concerned with promotion. They know themselves well enough to know they aren’t interested in management, but that doesn’t mean they want to sit at the desk and do the same work for 20 years.
Learning can take on many faces
Helping employees gain experiences that crate a career lattice isn’t as complex as it sounds. Reviewing the chart below from our book HR Hacks will provide a number of ideas for successful training and development of human capital. Most importantly, consider self-directed training, which is putting the responsibility for training in the hands of the employee. We all learn differently and asking the employee for their idea of what would work best for them is the first place to start. Think of training as experiences, not just learning as you put together customized development plans that will address your future needs.
Accepting what we cannot change
Don’t judge the employee who wants to make a change in their career based only length of employment. Dig deeper into why they made changes and what they learned from those experience. What can you offer to pull that all together and provide a longer career option? What are your current employees thinking? Be sure to offer experiences that augment their daily work so they don’t have to leave your organization just to learn something new. Create avenues and opportunities for employee development that will allow them to stay with your team and grow personally. A win-win for employee and organization is an equation where two plus two will equal five!
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