How HR Managers Can Prevent Career Plateau of Their Employees

Categories: Advice for HR Professionals, Advice for Start-ups and Entrepreneurs

How HR Managers Can Prevent Career Plateau of Their Employees

Many employee surveys say that the most important factors for an employee include a meaningful job, compensation, company culture, work appreciation, and availability of growth opportunities. What’s particularly interesting is that a staggering 86% of millennials have expressed in these surveys that they would stay in a company that provides career growth. On the contrary, 67% of millennial employees would leave their position if there’s no career advancement waiting for them in their current company. Indeed, career plateau is one of the most significant issues that you need to address in your organization.

As an HR manager, you can initiate and implement policies to make it possible for your employees to improve their career, accelerate their professional development, and reach their full potential.

Here are some ideas on how to keep your employees away from reaching a career plateau.

1. Identify the reason behind career plateau

It’s quite easy to identify employees who are going into a spiral of stagnation. They’re disengaged, isolated, or bored. The challenge lies in understanding why they plateau.

The reasons may be varied—from lack of more challenging tasks for them to frustration with co-workers and even their own unwillingness to improve.

As a manager, you should know that this is the more opportune time to initiate a dialog with employees who seem to be stuck in a rut. When you show sincerity that you want to understand and improve their situation, they’ll be more willing to talk about their issues. For all you know, they may have legitimate issues which are not their fault but controllable.  

2. Provide lateral movement opportunities through a lattice approach

Career growth doesn’t always have to go in an upward direction. It can be a lateral move too, where employees move from one unit of the company to another to fulfill new roles.

Instead of setting up a corporate ladder that your employees need to climb upward, you could design a lattice framework for moving employees across multiple directions in your company. So whenever an internal department has a need for extra staff, encourage your employees to apply for the openings.

3. Be ready to step in when employees get too comfortable

Employees may have different ways of responding to change. Others might avoid it by doing what they’re expected to do and feel a sense of satisfaction, while others want more challenge.

When you notice that there are employees who are being less active than their peers in accepting or adapting to changes within your organization, think of ways on how to get them more involved. It may be worthwhile to send them to conferences, trainings, or other forms of continuing education and then have them share their learning to other employees. They can choose which event to attend, as long as it’s relevant to your business.

Make it clear that the goal is to help them improve themselves and at the same time help the company stay up to date on industry trends.

4. Identify your employees’ competencies

Economic conditions may have a hand in an employee’s decision to take a job that’s not cut out for them exactly. For example, a journalism graduate might have landed in your sales department more by chance than by choice.

Tap the natural talent of your employees by providing cross-training opportunities for them, so that they don’t lose their skills. There may be other areas in your organization which could use some help from your writer employee on a weekly or monthly basis.

Finding relevant opportunities for employees with untapped skills can boost their morale and interest, not to mention help other departments gain fresh talent who already knows your company culture.

5. Acknowledge achievements with rewards

Employees have a basic need to be recognized for the contributions that they bring into the company. If you don’t have a reward system just yet, you might want to consider setting up one to make sure that employees receive the credit that they deserve.

For example, Filipino employees like to work overtime because they think it adds value to what they do and not because of compensation. If you want to recognize them through rewards, it’s wise to ask for the assistance of a recruitment agency in the Philippines to fully understand the Filipino work culture.

Your reward system has to be comprehensive enough to include not only promotions for high-achieving employees but should also celebrate the competency and expertise of the rest of your staff, which allows them to perform well on a consistent basis.

Overcoming Career Plateau in Your Organization

Career plateau can be a tough place to be, not just for your employees but also for your organization. When employees find themselves in a rut, they can become unproductive or they may settle for something less than the ideal results you’re aiming for. This, of course, can have negative effects on the company’s stability. A more pro-active approach plus employee-centric solutions can be implemented through the assistance of a recruitment agency to help you make sure that your organization and your employees don’t suffer from career plateau.

Ron Cullimore