Help Employees Grow Their Careers

Shawnee Love   •  
January 14, 2011

One of my pet peeves is an entitlement mentality. You know what I mean… the you owe me a living, you owe me time off, you owe me more hours, you owe me a promotion, you owe me training, you owe me a raise, etc. When I manage a team, I ensure each team member knows that she is responsible for her own career and life. The way I see it, in today’s world, if an employee isn’t happy she has choices:

  1. Leave. Unless the employee is being held illegally against her will, she can find a new job. It might take time and be tough. She might have to start looking while still with her current company, and she might have to take a step backward to progress forward, but she does have that option.
  2. Stay with status quo and stop complaining!
  3. Take responsibility by making changes personally to help her achieve her goals. By this I mean those changes needed to ultimately get what she thinks she deserves and yes sometimes that does mean personally paying for training and conferences, going the extra mile to help a customer, and staying late to complete a project. If at that point, the employer doesn’t recognize her great efforts and pony up by giving the her what she is working so hard for, then there is still Option 1.

That all being said, great companies to work for and great leaders and managers help their employees meet their goals by:

  • Teaching them how to set goals for themselves and their careers,
  • Providing support (e.g., monetary, mentoring, career coaching, listening, opportunities, etc.) that can help the employee get there,
  • Helping an employee see what she can grow into in their organization and what is needed to get there, and
  • Being honest about when an employee has gone as far as she can in their organization.

What do you do to help your employee grow?