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Employee Engagement

8 Ways To Provide Growth Opportunities For Your Existing Talent

Dean Mathews

The Great Resignation is a phenomenon that has affected almost every business to a certain extent, making it increasingly difficult for modern businesses to attract and retain top talent. However, there are steps that businesses can take to ensure that their employees feel supported and invested at their place of employment. 

One major reason employees leave their position is that they feel like they’ve stagnated or are underappreciated at work. Companies must be able to provide consistent growth opportunities within the organization and make sure that employees are aware of the tools and opportunities available to them.

Top Reasons Employees Leave Their Jobs

Employee turnover is an issue for many organizations. It's important to understand some of the top reasons employees leave their jobs so that you can address their needs.

1. They Feel Disengaged At Work

Modern employees don’t just work for a paycheck—they demand more engaging and interesting professional assignments. Companies that fail to provide satisfying work risk losing employees. A poll by Gallup revealed that in 2021, 74% of disengaged employees were actively looking for a new job, an increase from 69% in 2019. Workers are now less likely to remain in positions that fail to give them the satisfaction and rewards they’re looking for in their job.

Disengaged employees are far more likely than engaged workers to be looking for opportunities.

2. Employers Fail To Give Them The Tools They Need To Work Efficiently

Businesses can sometimes have unrealistic expectations about what can be achieved with the resources available to them. Managers sometimes expect workers to perform at high levels of productivity and efficiency and may not provide all the tools and resources they need to meet their goals. As more companies adopt digital solutions in their daily workflows, it becomes easier for employees to find a workplace that can equip them with the tools they need to meet their personal and professional goals more effectively. 

3. They Believe They Can’t Grow Professionally In Their Role

Many modern employees demand consistent opportunities for professional development and growth from their employers. If workplaces aren’t investing in their people, employees are likely to look elsewhere for a promotion or a more rewarding position. An industry survey found that about 45% of employees were dissatisfied with the advancement opportunities available to them at their place of employment. This leads to workers changing jobs so they can grow at a comfortable pace. It’s plain to see that to retain talented employees, businesses must chart out plans for their employees to receive salary increments or promotions at regular intervals.

Nearly half of employee report they are not satisfied with their organization's advancement opportunities.

4. A Plan For Career Progression Has Not Been Established

Even in organizations that have charted progression plans for each employee, high retention levels are not guaranteed. Business leaders might take an interest in planning out promotions and training programs for employees but might not actively communicate these plans to their team members. This can make employees feel left out of the loop or unsure of what they are working towards. Employees are more likely to feel motivated when a clear career progression path is explained to them with well-defined goals and objectives to meet before they can be promoted. 

5. They Feel Unappreciated And Disrespected In The Workplace

Another major reason employees leave their jobs is a toxic work culture. Employees who experience racism or discrimination in the workplace are often less motivated to go above and beyond for their employers. They can also feel like they are passed over for promotions or raises on the basis of their race, gender, sexual orientation, and more. If an employee feels underappreciated or disrespected at work, they will look for an employer that can provide a more inclusive environment where they believe they can thrive.

For a deeper dive into the causes of employee turnover, check out Nectar's definitive guide to turnover causes and solutions.

How To Create Avenues For Personal And Professional Growth For Your Employees

Opening up avenues for personal and professional growth in the workplace is vital. Here are some strategies your organization can use to make that happen.

1. Understand The Professional Needs Of Each Employee

When organizations plan professional development programs or promotional charts, they can sometimes do so with little understanding of their employees’ needs. Each employee is different and will respond differently to promotions, increments, and incentives.

Some employees might perform better when the option to work remotely is made available to them, while other employees might perform better if there is a financial incentive to meet organizational goals.

It’s therefore extremely important that business leaders maintain regular communication with their team members to understand what they need from the organization before investing in training and development programs or planning business incentives. 

2. Provide Ample Training And Personal Development Courses For Employees To Choose From

While most employees wish to grow in their role, they don’t always have the right skill set to perform in a more advanced position. Organizations can be more proactive in helping their employees by providing training and development programs to those who need or want it. This can also help employees perform better at their current roles. Research shows that 40% of employees have never had any training. 

However, it’s not enough to make these programs available. Employers must also understand the constraints that each employee faces when they want to join a training program. Half of all employees believe that they don’t have time for training as it can cut into the time they have for their regular work. Businesses can empower employees to train more regularly by creating bite-sized training videos employees can access on a device of their choice at a time of their choosing.

Employees aren't getting the training they need. 40% have never received training while 50% say they don't have time for it.

3. Track Each Employee’s Professional Growth And Adjust Tactics Where Necessary

Once a professional development program is in place, businesses must ensure it is effective in meeting its intended goals. As employees spend more time with their employers, managers should communicate consistently with them to ensure the career path that the organization has in mind is still aligned with their personal goals. This allows businesses and employees to course correct whenever they need to better serve the needs of both the employee and the employer. 

4. Allow Employees To Rotate Roles And Experience Other Job Types To Give Them More Options

Working in a single position and doing the same thing every day can get stale quickly and can lead to employee burnout and disengagement. To keep things fresh and to educate employees about the different paths they can take, businesses should rotate employee roles to expose team members to other positions they might be interested in. This also allows employees to get a more holistic understanding of how the business operates and how they fit in. 

5. Communicate The Entire Process To Employees And Conduct Regular Check-Ins 

When employees are exposed to different roles and positions, their professional goals and personal needs can change quite significantly. Employees who have recently started families or are experiencing changes in their personal lives can also need different things from their employers. Managers can anticipate these changes by conducting regular check-ins with each team member to learn how the organization can empower their employees. 

6. Enable Better Work-Life Balance

A common requirement for modern employees is that their place of employment offers them a strong work-life balance. This can involve providing them with the opportunity to work remotely or in a hybrid setting. Even in more traditional work settings, allowing employees to conduct meetings during dedicated times can also help employees perform better by dividing the workday into more manageable chunks. 

7. Encourage Employees To Develop Their “Soft Skills”

When considering professional development and training, businesses often place significant emphasis on technical skills and workflows over soft skills such as leadership, communication, and teamwork. However, the development of soft skills allows employees to be more productive and work with their team more effectively. Employees who are promoted into management positions also need to learn the people skills that can help them perform better as a leader, a motivator, or a supervisor. 

8. Keep Employees Motivated With Incentives

Businesses are always looking for ways to improve productivity and engage employees on deeper levels. An easy way to align the goals of the organization to the goals of the employee is to allow an employee to share in the success of the business. Companies can do this by encouraging employees using financial incentives, days off, promotions, and more. Businesses can coax employees to work towards a defined goal by communicating the reward that awaits them at the finish line. 


Turnover will always be an issue that businesses must manage but companies that can provide growth opportunities for their employees internally are likely to have a much easier time hanging on to their best people. As businesses compete for the top talent, employers must also prove themselves to prospective candidates, and showing them exactly what the company can offer can position them as an employer of choice.

Author Bio

Dean Mathews is the founder and CEO of OnTheClock, an employee time tracking app that helps over 15,000 companies all around the world track time. 

Dean has over 20 years of experience designing and developing business apps. He views software development as a form of art. If the artist creates a masterpiece, many people’s lives are touched and changed for the better.

When he is not perfecting time tracking, Dean enjoys expanding his faith, spending time with family and friends, and finding ways to make the world just a little better.

Actionable workplace tips & insights for fellow people lovers

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