Career opportunities…we’re all looking for them. Those companies that put time and effort into employee development and growth soon get a thumbs-up reputation in the marketplace. And job seekers are beating down their door.

Many employees are uncertain about their future. They understand that each career decision they make could positively or negatively affect their working future. An employer who can remove the uncertainty and offer career advancement and fulfilment will be viewed as a top employer.

Employees want to work for companies offering professional, personal and career growth. Talented employees want to advance. They may be content with added responsibilities, grander job titles or even a swankier office. The respect of their peers is important to them. But even talented employees need more than career growth. They need professional growth to stay on top of their game. And that means something more than tangible benefits. They want to sharpen their skills and broaden their knowledge. They want to be recognised as achieving new and innovative advancements for their employer. The acquisition of expertise, and in turn meaningful results, is a key motivator for this type of employee. So if you’re a business that fosters learning you’re in a good position.

Employee motivation is intrinsically linked to opportunities to advance one’s career and education. And if one is motivated they are enjoying the day-to-day activities of their job role. Not surprisingly when we enjoy what we do, we blossom. The benefits of what comes next are relished by both the organisation and the individual. If you are able to promote a culture where personal growth and a fun working environment go hand in hand, you can take your organisation to the next level, and perhaps even emerge at the forefront of your industry. It’s looking lucrative to be an organisation that is driven to cultivating talent from within.

If we know that employees perform best when the working environment is conducive to growth and motivation is high, why aren’t all businesses engaging in work practices that lead down the path of progress? Predictably some organisations feel constrained by financial pressures and competitive realities, or their organisational structure is hindering progress, or perhaps it’s because they are micromanaging and impeding their employees from growing. Growth opportunities take many forms. You may implement clear career paths, professional development planning, and continued education or mentorship programs. Each can give an employee an identity within the workplace and when employees feel they belong and are valued, they will stay.

No doubt growth opportunities equate to higher employee retention and the ability to attract and retain top talent. So if costs to produce a culture of growth and development are limited, remember it is an investment. Payback will outstrip the outlay. So just as employees have big careers aspirations, employers too need to have unrestrained goals to assist their employees to not only envision the bigger picture, but actually realise their career development goals.

Experience is a valuable bargaining tool in the workplace, particularly in the current employment market. Many employees are not content with financial incentives. They are looking to fulfil their potential. A company who values succession planning and sees their employees as an asset worth investing in will lure quality candidates again and again. How good is your organisation at rewarding employees by helping them to better themselves? And in turn reaping the rewards of their hard work and exciting ideas?

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