As a manager, it falls to you to provide opportunities to your employees and ensure they remain engaged with their role in the organization. Therefore, it is very important to understand the difference between “career development” and “career advancement”. When you have interaction with your employees, it is important they too understand the difference in the two and you can determine which of these your employee is most interested in.
Career advancement is a series of short-term goals that typically move a person further and further up the corporate ladder in positions of increasing responsibility and visibility. Not everyone is interested in advancing up the corporate ladder, however. Some prefer to stay right where they are. Trying to advance someone into a position they are not interested in can set that employee up for failure and cause them to seek another opportunity more in their comfort zone.
The employee mentioned above is really more interested in career development. They want to further excel in those areas in which they are accomplished. To keep these employees engaged, provide further training and education opportunities that can assist them in obtaining specific certifications. In turn, these certifications can lead to increased compensation within the organization without taking them out of their comfort zone.
Some employees will be interested in both. Career development within their current role may first be necessary in order to pave their way through career advancement. Interactions between you and your employee can be used to determine where their interest lies and to develop a plan for development, advancement or both. Involving the employee in developing this plan is critical since they are responsible for assisting in their own professional growth. Goals are set and action items are established for both the employee and management. Both parties are required to hold up their end of the plan in order for it to work for all.
This type of career planning with your employee will create employees who are more engaged. Turnover will be lower across the board and productivity will likely increase. Employees will feel that management is taking an interest in their career path and this will serve to build a new level of trust.