3 Steps to Create Career Progression When Promotions Are Scarce

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In today’s flatter organizations, promotions are scarce and yet younger workers want continuous career progression. (See our recent post on Decoding the Mysteries of Managing Millennials.) Whether your role is more senior in the organization, or you are a front line supervisor or team leader, there are a few simple steps you can take to motivate the millennials that are the key to future success.

Step 1: Break Down the Job Into Smaller Segments

Bored employees are more likely to complain, miss work, cause conflict or quit and search for something more interesting. The leader’s job is to create positive distractions that focus employees on achievement.

Most jobs have a number of components to them. A production worker will have elements of quality inspection, safety, equipment operation, product changeovers, different workstations on the line, continuous improvement, teamwork, attendance, and punctuality. A customer service representative will have job elements such as computer usage, customer interactions, different types of problems, product awareness, merchandising and each element can have different tiers.

Once the components of the job are identified, each one can have four levels of achievement –

1: Being Trained

2: Developing Proficiency

3: Mastery

4: Can Train Others

Step 2: Train Employees and Certify Them in Job Components

Whether you have designated trainers, or ask team leaders to do the training or have more experienced employees train newer ones, you can make sure less experienced employees get the skills they need.

Instead of simply signing them off after the training, have another employee observe, evaluate and certify their proficiency.

Step 3: Recognize and Celebrate Achievement

In a similar way to how video games reward the completion of different levels the leader can acknowledge each stage of achievement. It might be as simple as a checkmark in a training matrix or more elaborate (and fun) with a badge, sticker or stamp. Some of you will remember the badges you could earn in boy or girl Scouts. The concept is similar. If you are rolling your eyes, it might be that you are a more seasoned employee or manager and can’t understand the desire younger workers have for individual acknowledgement. For that reason you don’t need to subject your more seasoned employees to the same process (although they might actually enjoy it.)

By turning work into a game, you’ll help employees satisfy their need for challenge and job mastery.

How We Can Help

We can help you revamp your job progression process, create effective in-house training processes, improve the skills of your trainers and create a recognition process that motivates younger workers. We can also develop the leadership skills of your front line supervisors, managers and team leaders to boost productivity and engage employees.

What’s Coming Up
We’ve got a number of Front Line Leadership Training workshops in Canada and the USA from March through May. One recent client combined a live on-site workshop with follow-on webinars for continuous learning. Companies are subscribing to the Front Line Leadership Video Library to add training into their regular supervisor meetings. The 3-4 minute videos and discussion questions are the perfect way to keep your leaders moving forward. Many companies are interested in having us deliver our Decoding the Mysteries of Managing Millennials workshop for their leadership team. The Canada-Ontario Job Grant will receive new funding in April 2016 so now is a great time to plan training so your grant request can go in early.
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Upcoming Front Line Leadership Public Workshops
You can enrol your front line supervisors, team leaders and managers in our two-day Front Line Leadership program being held in Toronto, Canada, London, Canada, Windsor, Canada, Detroit, USA and Chicago, USA.

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