Lack of Promotion, Advancement & Career Opportunities

Actual Comment from Employees Who Left:
“Never given the opportunity to advance. It seemed only friends would advance. Supervisors knew who got the job before interviews were given.”

“My manager explicitly told me many times that I was fulfilling the duties of the position above mine, and also performing many duties of the position above that. However, because so many other people in our department had been in this same situation for years and years, promotion “was not an option” for me.”

“Due to an illness the manager left. For 8 months, I covered this role and mine. I increased production by 25% yet was not even considered for the promotion, nor was I paid for my services.”

The Solution
This is an area where employees’ perceptions may be at the heart of their dissatisfaction, but perceptions are reality. How many times have you heard employees say, “Only my manager’s friends advanced,” “I discussed with management my desire to advance and there was no movement,” or “I asked for training but there was none.”

So, what can organizations do to overcome these perceptions? The effort begins in the Human Resources Department.

Start by defining and communicating the company’s policy and process for seeking promotions or other opportunities for advancement or new roles in the organization. The other half of the approach is improving employee onboarding. Long-time employees who feel disgruntled with their opportunities for advancement may have resentments that can be traced back to the day they were hired. HSD Metrics data finds unhappy employees believe their actual working conditions and responsibilities did not match what was described to them when they were hired.

If you look at best practices among HR professionals, you’ll find companies that go beyond having a written policy on promotions and advancement. They hold formal training sessions to help employees understand specific job requirements, provide on-line resources that are available to help employees acquire skills, and explain what the employees’ responsibilities are for achieving advancement.

Today’s work environment is much more complex and skill-based, requiring employees to make a personal commitment to acquire additional skills. If you look at current job reports coming from industry and the government, there are many open positions that cannot be filled due to a lack of skills. This is the new environment.

HR professionals can create fertile ground for employee development and advancement by adding a personal development plan to your organization’s performance management process. Make this a collaborative effort between employees and managers to find out what the employees’ career desires are, help them create goals and action plans, and follow their progress throughout the year.

There may be times when opportunities for advancement are just not available, but there are almost always opportunities for on-the-job training. Review employees’ current job duties to see where responsibilities can be moved among staff members, thereby increasing skill levels and bench strength within a department. The key is keeping employees engaged and growing their skills, so they can be ready when promotional opportunities become available. The secondary payoff is you’ll have a stronger team, ready to fill in, when someone needs time off for health reasons, family leave or other unexpected occurrences.

Ultimately, your efforts will pay off for the company by increasing employee involvement, improving the overall skill level of the organization, and reducing turnover. And that’s what HSD Metrics is all about!

HSD Metrics offers new hire, stay, and exit interview platforms that can help your business improve employee engagement, as well as employee experience and retention. If you are interested in learning more, contact us today.