4 Ways to Help Employees Progress

HR Insights for Professionals

HR Insights for ProfessionalsThe latest thought leadership for HR pros

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Providing the right support for employees is the best way to help them realize their full potential and ensure that the company retains its most valuable professionals.


One of the most important elements of HR is to provide employees with the support and resources they need to progress and realize their full potential. This not only encourages them to remain with the company but also increases the value they offer to the business as a whole.

What motivates professionals depends on their own personal traits and priorities, which can make it difficult for HR to introduce company-wide support, but there are some overarching themes that should ensure all employees get the resources they need for progression.

1. Get managers onboard with your vision

HR can do their very best but without the support of management, they'll struggle to implement any meaningful changes. Clear communication is key so it's important that you are regularly speaking to them, allowing them to update you on any progress or problems that they're experiencing. This will not only ensure that managers feel involved in the process but also helps to standardize the approach throughout the company.

It's important that HR communicate the overall objectives or goals of any employee-facing scheme. Whether it's increasing retention, raising morale or boosting the value of each professional, you're likely to get more support if management understand what the purpose of the initiative is.

2. Take responsibility for top talent

Leaving it entirely up to managers to spot the most promising talent on their team is unlikely to yield the best results so it's important that HR take it upon themselves to identify the most valuable employees. Progression is often about being in the right place at the right time and you should ensure that professionals with the most potential are exposed to the development opportunities they need.

The resources and support an individual needs to move in the right direction will largely depend on them so take the time to understand what your top talent needs and how HR can best provide it.

3. Identify areas of autonomy

Budding managers need to be given the chance to expand their skill set  as soon as possible. By communicating with the current management team, you can make sure they don't feel as though they're being usurped, while also identifying the best candidates to nurture for leadership roles. Through these conversations, managers should look to identify areas where they could give or expand the autonomy of professionals. Whether it's helping onboard new employees or taking on more responsibility for projects, giving employees more freedom is a great way to bring out their full potential.

Managers should see this as an opportunity to coach employees and share whatever skills or experience they have. If professionals flourish with their new responsibilities, ensure there is an appropriate progression scheme in place to prevent their enthusiasm from burning out.

4. Allow employees to control their career

Trying to get professionals to fit into the progression plan you have outlined for everyone can lead to disappointing results. Instead, ensure employees have the power to control their own progression. It should feel like an organic process that rewards those putting in the work, rather than a box-ticking exercise that looks impressive.

This is something that managers can communicate, but HR needs to be the driving force to make sure promises are being met and employees are progressing, regardless of who their manager is.

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