From retail stores to recruitment firms, there is a very similar “agreed upon” career path for the employees at most businesses. This means that almost all staff know what their promotion prospects are and, in most cases, they know what they need to do to give themselves a chance to be considered for a higher role.
This is what that career path looks generally like:
- Entry level (learning about how the role works and how to do it effectively)
- Competent at the basic role (can perform their tasks without guidance)
- Low level responsibility (keyholder/assistant manager)
- Medium responsibility (full manager of a store/branch)
- High responsibility (area manager/director)
So far, so familiar.
What is the problem with this model?
The businesses which adopt this model of career progression may be restricting their own ability to adapt and to change in the future. This path offers few if no options for career specialisation or company diversification – there is little space to innovate either for the good of the employee or the good of the company.
Boredom, lack of variety, and lack of challenge often leads employees to become unmotivated in the workplace. Not only will this have an adverse effect on their productivity but moods spread - if someone is always moaning about the fact it’s the “same old same old” everyday, others will pick up on that and feed from it.
How can it be improved?
There are three principles you can apply to your business to become more dynamic when promoting your employees.
Allow your employees to specialise
Everyone is good at something and some people’s skills lie in different places. If one of your employees has shown a particular talent in an aspect of their work, reward them by promoting them to a position where they can spend more of their time working with this talent.
For example, if you work in a retail shop that buys and sells computers and you have one employee who has shown aptitude and talent in fixing broken computers. To promote them to a managerial position, while nice, would completely disregard their talents and the value they could add to your business.
In order to properly get the most out of them, consider allowing this employee to specialize and spend more time fixing computers, instead of forcing them down a linear career path. There may be a whole new division created from your business because you noticed that someone had that talent.
Create a meritocracy in your business
A meritocracy is a way of selecting people to lead based on their individual merit – and nothing else. This means that those who are selected to lead are up to the job, based on a proven track record.
Don’t promote people based on their educational background or their time served at your company as this will certainly result in a business whose management team will appear to be out-of-touch with its staff.
In order to have a manager that understands their employees’ day-to-day roles, they need to have demonstrated excellence in those roles as well as the leadership qualities needed for management.
Allow your business to develop with your employees
As a business owner, you’ll have a vision for where you want to take your company in the future. This vision can include the services you want to provide, the people you employ, the number of outlets you have, and so on.
However, rigidly sticking to this vision compromises your ability to adapt to the factors that you can’t control. For instance, what if you can’t find someone who is crucial to providing the service that you want to?
The way to overcome this hurdle is through developing your business in parallel with your employees. Look at their skills and abilities and see how you can monetise them.
Looking back at our computer retail shop example from earlier - the business owner in this scenario could focus their business more around computer repairs than the sale of new computers in order to capitalise on the skills of that particular employee.
This would result in a higher turnover because you have the capacity to deal with more complex issues in an area you had not initially expected to be dealing in.
We can help
If you want your business to be flexible, you need to keep an eye on your finances. Each change you make can have effects on your cashflow and the balance of cash you have in your business as a whole. To make sure that you aren’t caught off-guard, contact one of our professional accountants.
Call us on 01235 768 561 or drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org – we’ll be back in touch with you shortly.