July 23, 2019
Succession Planning 01 May 2018
How to Improve Employee Commitment: Be a Career Architect
Neetuabala Raina
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While you expect your employees to stay committed, are you doing enough to build your credibility as well? Are you proactively analyzing roles/work you can offer and giving your employees chances to grow so that you can proudly say, “We build careers, We are the career architects”? 

Your employee is the CEO of his/her career, but remember that even a CEO is successful only when s/he receives timely support from the teams around. Invariably, both organizations and employees have to deal with the consequences of the dynamic environment today. Both have to learn to build credibility in such an environment in order to evolve stronger and improve as an employer/employee. 

A few points to ponder over, which will help to build employee commitment and architect careers in the true sense:

Don’t over-sell the job  

Over-selling has never won long-term returns for any business, and it certainly won't help build credibility or commitment with your employees. Nurture your credibility by marketing your jobs clearly and honestly to attract the right talent. Remember that best fit for the company may not always be the right fit for employees whereas right fit will always benefit both sides.  

Hiring a competent candidate for a position that may not provide growth beyond three years’ time period is not really fair. Think about it, would it justify your decision if you have to worry about your employees looking elsewhere for further growth opportunities? This holds true for all roles wherein both Organization, as well as the Employee, expect a longer association for stability.

Impulsive Hiring leads to Firing

You may be impulsive in certain areas of the recruiting process but refrain from impulsive hiring. This does damage even before your first step toward building a career. Would it not be a wiser decision to delay hiring by a week or so to make sure the candidates are a good fit who is able to fulfill the job responsibilities than wondering what to do with a hire who was hired impulsively?

Besides you increasing your operative cost and creating negative perceptions, your hired talent will feel insecure and have a hard time fitting into the company before even starting to work. A lot of mental and emotional bandwidth is wasted in dealing with the consequences. Make sure you control impulsive hiring by writing a clear job description and properly confirming that the candidate has the necessary skills and attitude to fulfill the role.

Prevent Job Burnout 

Your key talents are the ones who suffer the most owing to burnouts! While you may think you are throwing challenging assignments to them, do not exploit their bandwidth to extract more results. Only when you enable them by providing timely support to move upward, will they display discretionary efforts to help you build and create a strong customer base for high delivery margins.  

High performers themselves are partly to be blamed, it’s not the poor performers or the mediocre folks who get asked to do more! You send and get emails from your top performers in the wee hours of the night & morning, and they have so many unused vacation hours. They rise to the occasion and get the job done so well and silently, so you ‘reward’ them with more work. 

One primary reason for burnout and high operative turnover is the inability to build an emotional connection with top employees and understand their motivations or value system. Money will fetch you temporary retention, but if they are emotionally disconnected they will leave you in the pursuit of a nurturing environment. No one is indispensable today, not even CXOs, and they will leave you when you need them the most if they feel cheated. 

Retention has to benefit both the Organization and the Talents retained 

Your approach to retention and development can label you as a “good” or “bad” employer. Do not retain talents just to meet your interim objectives, that’s a selfish outlook which will highlight your company value system in a negative light. If you do not have a long-term career visibility for your key talent who wishes to move on, let him/her leave to venture into new areas of identified opportunities. You can lessen the impact of employees leaving key positions with proper succession planning.

Encouraging employees to move on and grow on their own if your company does not have the best opportunities for them to grow will avoid tension you may create by forcing retention of key talent. Who knows? You may want this person to come back in the future for an opportunity for which s/he fits the best! So let such talents be your ambassadors and not unhappy customers when they leave! Should you not be trying to save a career to build it with the right opportunities? 

Do not promote to demote 

Your high potential employees will have aspirations and to meet those, you need not force them into available roles. They must not be pushed into roles to fill in the talent gap for lack of time and resources or just to grab a business opportunity by managing the situation at the cost of a career! Instead, support and develop them to manage and excel in their current roles on a pathway toward a higher position in your company. Talent must be developed naturally in view of an identified role that they can grow into. 

If they fail to perform due to unrealistic expectations, who is at fault? Are you at fault as YOU pushed them? Do you have a plan-B to save them? If not, such a mindset and approach is detrimental to the culture building process as it destroys trust and impacts employee engagement visibly. Information flows rapidly; today the workforce is so well connected that they are “separately living together virtually”!

Is your leadership inspiring “Careers”; role models impact the learning curve - While you may lack the readiness for right leaders at times, and the business urgency may press for such decisions but when you promote pseudo leaders, you empower undeserving people. A pseudo leader dilutes the culture, causing the best talents to flee and the remainder to lose all motivation. This collapses career opportunities within an organization adding to the attrition of high potential talents. Also, such leaders promote employees who may not be scalable, for their own insecurities which further adds to the talent engagement challenges. 

That said, success lies more in saving careers to develop those to fit into right opportunities than hiring impulsively to meet the dynamic and urgent business needs. Is not dynamism a way of life today? Why should you blame the fallout of your impulsivity or unpreparedness to manage careers on the dynamic environment more often? When you prudently focus more on the available capabilities, bottom line optimization is a natural outcome; in contrast, when it is misunderstood, this conundrum perpetually complicates and mystifies talent management challenges unfolding issues like talent retention and knowledge leak, which eventually is bound to nullify your efforts, taking you a step back.  

While you proclaim that your employees have a pivotal role in building your organization, it is important to recognize that your employees also have aspirations and are working hard to build their careers! Growth is a two-way process today, your key talents will stay committed and work hard if you contribute to their career as well.  

Employee and the employer, both must enhance the performance of each other. So, are you saving careers to build those? Are you a Career Architect? For more ways to build careers and improve your employee growth, schedule a call with one of our specialists today.

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Neetubala is an ardent HR Professional, a spirited writer, and a sensitive poetess from India. She works as a Principal HR Advisor at present, with an American organization. She is also a certified coach in the International Coach Federation, where coaching talents to unleash their potential is a fulfilling experience for her. 

As a Talent specialist, she believes that developing the right talents is wiser than building with the best. She is very focused on developing people dimension in the leadership space and places a strong emphasis on building skills that instill a culture of appreciation, which directly impacts the collective performance of an organization. In her view, no technological innovations can replace the human touch. Instead, emotional intelligence and empathy skills should be even more precious and sought after abilities. 

For more information, visit Neetubala on her Professional blog-  https://talentruths.wordpress.com/ or her Personal blog- https://iinsightfulinsanity.wordpress.com/