Career management can end discontent

The article on employee job satisfaction declining in relation to the length of time people work for one employer made grim reading (Personnel Today, 29 March 2005). As your commentator aptly put it: “It is hard for people to be enthusiastic about an organisation that is not enthusiastic about them.”

Despite the seemingly universal agreement that staff are a company’s greatest asset, poor recruitment and people management practices costs UK business millions of pounds each year. Many of those who leave their jobs cite a lack of opportunity for career development as the chief reason.

Lamentably, organisations are taking less responsibility for the long-term development of their employees. This is where the decline in enthusiasm of new employees originates.

With effective career management, which need not be costly, employee discontent can be halted.

Career management helps employees to take stock of their careers, identify their potential, manage their way through change and even achieve a better work-life balance. Organisations also gain because their employees are motivated and positive about their roles and their career paths.

The article also touched on dismissing workers in times of economic difficulty. But what happens to those who remain and are forced to face increased workload, loss of colleagues and insecurity? Again, how they are treated links into employee satisfaction. Sadly, there is often no comprehensive approach. While most organisations now recognise the importance of outplacement for those directly affected, the natural progression to re-engaging the survivors is all too often overlooked.

Too many organisations are still learning to capitalise on their most valuable resource – people. By now, after the debacle and other economic meltdowns, shouldn’t more organisations stand firmly by the motto: “Help your employees to grow with your company and you will reap the benefits”?

Simon Wilde
Capita People and Development

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