Employee Engagement

Driving employee engagement: top employers offer career growth opportunities

September 9, 2022

RESOURCES Driving employee engagement: top employers offer career growth opportunities

Hourly workers within the supply chain don’t just want a job, they want a career and growth opportunities.

Providing career growth opportunities for hourly workers is essential for employers to be competitive in the current job market, and pretty much required if you want to keep hold of or reach that Employer of Choice status. Without presenting a clear path to career development and advancement, employers will continue to encounter a large population of their associates leaving for companies that do.

Each quarter, WorkStep’s research on top drivers of hourly worker turnover has shown that a lack of career growth opportunities is the number one reason. So how can companies create an environment for their employees that will allow them to grow within the company, and in turn feel more satisfied?

Here are the top 3 ways you can support career development for your workforce.

1. Plan leadership meetings

First you need to develop a strategy behind how your organization is going to facilitate career growth. In order to create a successful plan, it’s important to hold regular leadership meetings.

These meetings should be used to discuss what advancement opportunities you can provide, how you’re going to roll that out to your hourly workers, and assessing the success of these initiatives when it comes to turnover and overall employee satisfaction.

Once you have established what opportunities you’re going to provide, you have to decide how you’re going to roll it out. It’s imperative that you communicate these options with managers and all employees. Offering career development opportunities won’t make a difference if your workforce doesn’t know they exist.

2. Open up manager and employee communications

One way to ensure that your frontline is aware of these career growth options is by requiring managers to have ongoing conversations during one-one-one meetings. This is also the best way to support hourly workers in their pursuit of career and personal development.

When leadership is initiating these conversations, it lets employees know that seeking advancement is welcomed. Being able to openly express individual career goals and develop a plan to reach them will significantly improve their satisfaction with the company and reduce their chances of quitting.

3. Offer learning and professional development opportunities

The most effective career growth plans include learning opportunities for employees. Some that employers should consider offering are:

  • Job rotation options –  Allowing hourly workers to experience different roles not only helps expand their skills, but also may introduce them to new responsibilities they enjoy more.
  • Trainings – Offer trainings on new machines or around new skill sets that could help open doors to new roles within the company.
  • Education support – Advancement in a company may have its limits without additional education. But often access to higher education is difficult for hourly workers because of financial limitations or scheduling conflicts. Providing monetary support as well as flexibility can help employees get promoted and reach their career aspirations.

What’s in it for you?

Although it may seem like a hefty investment to offer these opportunities, there are huge benefits it provides to a company.

As discussed earlier, lack of career growth opportunities is consistently the number one reason folks are leaving their jobs, and a turnover event costs a company on average $19,600. These initiatives will help boost employee morale and lead to better retention rates across the company.

In addition to cutting turnover costs, supporting career development results in a higher-skilled workforce. Employees are more versatile in their abilities and are more likely to retain.

And when employees feel supported and are happy with their employer, they usually tell others. This has a giant impact on the reputation of a company. It can make or break whether you’re seen as an Employer of Choice.

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Kristina Finn

Kristina Finn, Content Marketing Manager | kristina@workstep.com