Retention, Engagement, Succession Planning and High Performance

Today the needs of the workforce are changing. To attract and retain great talent and passionate employees things need to change.

We know that as you progress in your career the level of complexity in your job or the influence you have in an organisation changes; therefore, your level of capability needs to match that growing complexity or level of influence. It is common practice in an organisation to deliver the person to the job and wish them “all the very best”.

It is widely believed and documented that when a person leaves school they aim to “get a job”. Approximately 40% of people enter into an undergraduate course and that is seen to provide a foundational set of skills for particular career, for example: Accounting, Humanities, Art, Business or something more specific like Medicine or Law. These courses are designed to drive students to a specialisation. Some may choose to go to TAFE, others may get a job. All people, regardless of their choice, build a set of FOUNDATION skills for their life.

At some point they start to SPECIALISE when they identify with something they “really enjoy”. They also start to move from just “having a job” to creating a “career” and “a life they love”. For example: “I really enjoy working in retail and I am going to become a “retail specialist”.

As this person progresses, they may start to specialise in a particular area within retail such as sales, merchandising or management. Some of these people may be seen to be an EXPERT by the organisation and often come across a scenario like “you are really good at sales. You are our best salesperson here in the store. You are consistently at the top of our leader board. You should MANAGE the team”.  This person may then become a regional manager or store manager and often their leaders will (without prejudice) say “good luck, just keep doing what you are doing”. However now your life has changed, you are dealing with management of payroll, admin, people calling in sick, employing people – a whole range of things you didn’t deal with before when you were excelling in sales.

Some of these scenarios are poured onto you by the organisation and some of it poured onto you by people/staff.  You may find yourself stuck in the middle and still responsible for the same outcomes and therefore transitioning from EXPERT to LEADER requires a series of technical and soft skills that you need to develop to manage this well. Short educational programs such as Introduction to Finance, Leading with Emotional Intelligence, Managing High Performing Teams now typically come into play.

Skills are required to manage your role effectively is often taught through short courses. Alternatively (and unfortunately commonly) we find people don’t invest in their development at all and learn these skills on the job. Some people are very good at learning on the job; and some people aren’t. Some organisations manage this well with the 70/20/10 approach to learning (70 percent of their knowledge from job-related experiences, 20 percent from interactions with others, and 10 percent from formal educational events); and some, often unintentionally, do not. 

Once you master your position as a LEADER you may be recognised as a Leader of Leaders which is essentially an EXECUTIVE. This requires a different set of strategic leadership skills. Many executives feel a desire to contribute to the board; and for many it is an end career goal recognised as GOVERNANCE.

During all these stages an individual is also considering their own levels of engagement, personal and career goals and more more, asking the question “How do I create a career that has purpose, passion and balance?”

At each of these levels along the career journey, companies unintentionally tend not to help people through these stages and processes, so employees tend to manage it themselves. 

There is a better way.

At aile we can provide the technical and soft skills to support the entire career journey and in turn, support the organisation to retain and develop their staff to greater levels of career and life satisfaction.

The Organisational Lifecycle

There are different stages of growth or challenges that you will face in any organisation. As the business becomes more complex, the competencies and requirements of your people becomes more complex. It might be that you are moving form a small business to a medium sized business; or a medium sized business to a national business; or a national business to an international business. There is always a challenge that requires greater capability. You are often either trying to achieve more with less; or more with more; and each of those have challenges.

On the job learning is slow and cumbersome. What if you could increase the speed of growth through a “deliberate” approach to skill development and personal awareness?

For example, when I was working with Telstra Corporation I posed the question “what if you supported these 40 people who are working within project management related roles but have never studied a Project Management qualification and you gave them those skills . . .  and you did that in a way that they were more efficient and effective, more engaged, and there were less mistakes and less waste. What would be the end outcome of that?”

A common response received is “Why would we want to train people because they may just leave us?”

Yes, people are going to leave organisations. That’s a given. But how long they stay and how productive they are is up to you. So, if you want them to stay longer and you want to multiply that length by productivity then invest in their development and be deliberate with that plan.

Why aile? We are not going to just peel off project management; we’re not going to just peel off Emotional Intelligence; our perfect engagement with you is right along the career and organisational curve to achieve lasting outcomes that support the achievement of your strategic plan in a way the is relevant to the world of work today.

We can work with you to map the competencies that you need for each of the roles in your organisation, share the latest research in relation to staff engagement and career trajectories, and tailor the products and services we offer to you to ensure a clear return on investment.

For a confidential and complimentary assessment of your Strategic Plan and Key Priorities, your Competency Framework and an assessment of the current training needs for the people in your organisation to enable them to achieve these goals please contact us. Start the conversation now to ensure you are taking a strategic and deliberate approach to the development of your people in 2020.

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