Gallup found that focusing on the learning and growth of employees is critical to engagement. In fact, employees who feel that they have opportunities to learn and grow are three times more likely to stay.
Transitioning your bosses to coaches will help!
Managers becoming more coach-like (which is what I have been promoting in this Boss to Coach series) will inherently help your employees grow and develop. However, I wanted to share some additional things to consider building into your culture to help employees stay and thrive.
Other ways to support career growth include:
Mentoring – This is a partnership where an individual earlier in their career (mentee) works with someone more experienced (mentor). The mentor’s role is to guide and coach the mentee and pass on valuable aspects of their own accumulated experience and wisdom to help the mentee grow and develop. Sometimes reverse mentoring may also occur where the mentee might share some knowledge, suggestions, or technical skills to help the mentor.
Job shadowing – This is when an employee shadows someone in another role to gain knowledge about what they do. Job shadowing provides employees with additional perspective on how work gets done in the organization and helps them vet their interest in developing themselves in other areas.
Workshops and other learning opportunities – Workshops, training classes, online classes/courses, certification programs, and book studies would all fall under this category.
Stretch assignments – Seventy percent of development comes from giving employees assignments that stretch them beyond their comfort zone so this one is huge - and often underutilized.
Expanding job responsibilities – This might include additional job responsibilities to help employees further grow and elevate their skills.
Career paths – Career paths provide information on the skills and requirements for the next level position or other positions within the organization. This enables employees to have a clear picture of actions that they would need to take to work towards other opportunities. This might include moving from an Administrative Assistant 1 to a level 2. Or could provide information on what skills and education are needed to move to a job in a different department such as a Marketing Specialist. If you don't have career paths in your organization, I highly recommend that you take the time to do this. It's a lot of work but can pay big dividends in retention.
There are 3 steps to transitioning your bosses to coaches and creating a coaching culture.
Develop your bosses to be coaches
Insert impactful coaching conversations into your culture
Offer learning and growth opportunities.