Now You're Talking: Engaging Talent Through Career Development Discussions

By now it’s no secret. If you want your organisation to be successful, you must take the time to engage your workforce. Look at the top-quartile performing companies and you will find an employee engagement strategy at the heart of its success – and it all begins with a simple conversation.


Career development talks make your employees feel valued and will have a direct effect on how connected an employee feels to their organisation, which has a positive impact on productivity and retention. So, why then, do 30% of line managers find it difficult to engage their people in these simple yet highly effective career development conversations?


It’s a topic we discussed in our latest workshop designed exclusively for HR professionals and line managers from their client groups. Last week we heard Executive Coach Jane Cox share her insight on how to engage your talent through career development talks.


We learnt that – although there are many studies to prove how beneficial career development discussions are for your business – many line mangers are apprehensive to talk to their people about goals and aspirations out of fear their employees could leave the organisation.


But this just isn’t the case. Career development talks make your workers feel valued and appreciated. As Jane said: “If you make a real connection with an employee by making them feel heard, respected and as though their opinion matters, they will stay at your organisation for longer.”


The good news is that 89% of employees believe they are responsible for the development of their own careers. In today’s workforce, the need for progression is hugely important – not just in the early stages of a person’s career, but for their entire employee lifecycle – so it’s important that you are able to provide your people with a platform to discuss their long-term goals and aspirations. If you don’t, you run the risk of frustrating your workforce, which could ultimately lead to their untimely departure.


What’s important to bear in mind is that it’s better to know how your people feel and where they want to get to, even if ultimately you can’t offer the role or career they desire the most. At the very least they’ll appreciate your candour and it’ll offer up an opportunity to somebody else.


Create a space in the diary each week for you to talk to your team on an individual level. Ask them what they are currently striving for – what do they want from their career, and what are their needs and priorities? From this you can scratch beneath the surface and help them draw up a career plan that you can use as a reference point for further career development discussions.


Make weekly catch-ups an expectation for your team and use this time to help them become more self-aware about their role and part in your organisation. By acting as a mentor to your employees, you will help them reach their potential. And that will bring benefits to both your employee and your organisation.


Employee engagement is one of the most important factors to organisational success. Without it, you could lose valuable talent. If you’d like to find out more about how you can maximise your employee engagement strategy, you can register your interest for our upcoming workshops.


Contact a member of the Avencia team today at hello@avenciaconsulting.com, or give us a call on +44 (0) 203 861 9360.