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When Job Enhancement Matters Most

Posted by Insightlink on 11/03/14

Too Many Employees for Too Few Promotions

The organizational landscape for many companies and organizations has changed dramatically over the last decade. Some would say the old corporate ladder has toppled completely, as a result of downsizing and outsourcing. Despite these changes, many companies continue to hire people and establish their expectation that their performance will be tied to growth and promotions. This equation for success isn’t happening, however, as a bulge of talent in many companies leaves fewer opportunities for advancement. In fact, our research shows that only 36% of employees in the U.S. are satisfied with their opportunities for advancement and may be looking for career advancement elsewhere.

Companies can’t afford to lose valuable employees but if they can’t promote them fast enough what options are there to engage and retain valuable employees?

Many companies are changing their definitions of career development by focusing on and offering employees job enhancement opportunities instead of promotions. These include an emphasis on lateral moves and placing greater value on broadening one’s perspective. In a recent article titled “Battling the Bulge”, Julie Winkle Giulioni provides numerous clever ways to expand employees’ current roles and enhance them with greater responsibility, complexity, novelty or opportunity. Listed here are the options she recommends from A to Z:

  • Arrange an off-site meeting, conference or mission.
  • Be a change agent, taking on responsibility for championing a new initiative.
  • Create a staff involvement improvement team or community of practice.
  • Deliberate with human resources and hiring managers to select a new staff member.
  • Evaluate the results of a project or initiative.
  • Facilitate a conflict-resolution conversation or meeting.
  • Generate a request for proposal (RFP).
  • Handle the interface between a consultant or contractor and the organization.
  • Integrate diverse systems, processes or procedures across departments, groups or countries.
  • Join a nonprofit board.
  • Kick around (job shadow) with someone else with specialized knowledge or experience.
  • Lead a team facing ambiguity.
  • Manage a diverse team of individuals very different from one’s self.
  • Negotiate or be part of a negotiation team charged with securing services for the organization.
  • Offer mentoring to a junior staff member.
  • Prepare and present a proposal to senior leadership.
  • Quiz an expert in another part of the organization to identify best practices and success factors.
  • Run a cost-cutting project or effort.
  • Study an emerging issue, challenge or problem.
  • Train or teach others.
  • Uncover an opportunity for improvement and propose an alternative.
  • Volunteer to temporarily fill an open role.
  • Write a speech or talking points for a senior leader.
  • eXpand skills by attending a workshop or conference.
  • Yield greater volume or depth within the current scope of work.
  • Zero in on ways to strategically leverage community service and volunteer opportunities for professional development.

The good news is you do not have to risk losing valuable employees because you can’t provide career advancement opportunities. Instead consider the benefits of job enhancement strategies. Committing to growth and development may be the most effective way to ensure you have the highest level of engagement within your organization and to retain your talented employees.

Read the original article here



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Insightlink Communications are experts in employee survey design, data collection and analysis. Since 2001 we've helped companies of all sizes measure and improve their employee satisfaction and engagement.

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