Posts Tagged ‘skills and career development’

Career Development and Fulfillment is for EVERYONE!

I first met Anne-Lise Gere of Gere Consulting when we were both presenters at Peninsula (VA) SHRM’s annual day long conference September, 2016

I recently had a discussion with a peer consultant, Anne-Lise Gere of Gere Consulting Associates, who frequently works with clients in a traditionally low paying industry. And this low paying industry has the same talent concerns as high powered tech firms, etc. How do they prevent high turnover and how do they keep their people motivated and growing?

What an excellent question. And after pondering this I realized that all human beings have the same need and aspiration out of their vocation. In addition to making an income to live, everyone likes to enjoy what they are doing, getting a sense of satisfaction from their work, and feeling they are growing as a person. This equally applies to someone making minimum wage in what may be considered “under-appreciated” work compared to those college educated professionals making six-figure salaries.

YES! We need to stop right there. No person should ever look down at another human being and consider someone else’s job or vocation as “menial” or “less than.” We should treat the highly specialized surgeon who may be operating on us and the person giving us our meal at a fast food restaurant with the same respect. We should equally respect a health care aide making about minimum wage, often working alone in a client’s home taking on physical and emotional challenges, as much as the CEO of a large company grappling with global commerce.

Think about this – how many of us routinely interact with corporate CEOs? Very few. We all interact with people making minimum wage several times per day. Isn’t it pleasant when these people serve us with a smile because they sincerely enjoy what they are doing and want to deliver an excellent client experience?

People working in traditionally lower paying jobs are often very critical since they are in customer and client facing roles.


Here are three important points to consider for providing skills and career development and fulfillment programs for those lower wage employees:

1) More often than not, your lower wage employees are the ones in client-facing roles. An energized satisfied employee can provide excellent service to your clients so they keep returning, whereas an unhappy employee will turn clients and customers away.

2) The cost of recruiting, replacing, onboarding and training replacements for departing experienced employees can often be up to one full year of salary. Constant employee churn is very costly and can indeed impact your bottom line. For example, in home care, consultant Anne-Lise Gere estimates it to cost at least $2,500 when a caregiver leaves within 3 months, and this does not take into account the potential churn in clients dissatisfied with losing their caregiver.

3) Some of your entry level and lower wage employees have ambition and the ability to progress into management and leadership roles. Do not discount them. When doing my career development projects for my clients, I often profile mid-level managers and even senior leaders who got their start in the company in minimum wage jobs.

Indeed there is a value proposition and strong business case for engaging all employees in skills building and career development activities.

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Total Engagement Consulting by Kimer offers consulting services in diversity and career development, including its innovative “Total Engagement Career Mapping” offering for engaging employees in meaningful company-tailored career planning.

I thank Anne-Lise Gere of Gere Consulting Associates for her valuable input and insights for this blog.

What Millennials REALLY want in the workplace

millenial-picNOTE: This blog contains links to the two excellent studies referenced therein!

The “Four Generations in the Workplace” discussion (see my blog on this from a few years ago) continues to be one of the hottest topics in the ever changing diversity and inclusion field. Even as the discussion really does need to focus on the various advantages each generation brings to the workplace, and how the best companies know how to build strong teams across all generations, Millennials still get a bad rap from many. I often hear comments like “I hesitate to train these young employees since they will leave within a year.” OK – I hear you, but I ask, why do millennials frequently job hop, and what are they looking for in a job?

My main point: Millennials truly desire organizations that offer them personal growth and flexible career opportunities and advancement, and if more companies invested in their younger employees, they may actually stay for the long haul!

Let me provide data from two studies.

First, Gallup Inc. has done an extensive workplace study across the generations, and issued a superb report called “How Millenials Want to Work and Live.” The Gallup study shows that only 29% of currently employed millennials are engaged at work, significantly lower than the other generations. But perhaps the issue is not “these slacker millennials,” but instead companies not providing the right value proposition for millennials in the workplace. Some key points the Gallup study makes include:
• Millennials are not just working for a paycheck, but looking for purpose in their profession.
• Millennials are not just looking for job satisfaction, but personal development.
• Millennials don’t want bosses per se, but coaches who help them grow and improve on the job.
• Millenials do view their job as an integral part of their lives.

A second study which was presented at a conference I recently attended comes from “Ultimate Software” and “The Center for Generational Kinetics” titled “Is There Really a Generational Divide at Work?” (Link to download the study.)

Though the study highlights many different aspects of generational differences and similarities in the workplace, I will focus on the career and personal development aspects. They include:

Millennials are truly seeking coaching, feedback and mentoring from their managers at work.

Millennials are truly seeking coaching, feedback and mentoring from their managers at work.


• 45% of millennials would quit a job if they didn’t see a career path they wanted at the company.
• 42% of millennials want feedback from their superiors at work, which is double the other generations. And most frequently, they seek the feedback so they grow professionally.
• One statistic consistent across all generations – 33% of employees knew whether they would stay long term or not at their company after being on the job for one week or less.

Both these studies underscore the importance of skills and career development in the workplace, especially among the millennial generation. Some of my clients using my innovative career mapping process have verified this point – when they present an overview of career development and potential at new employee orientation, it is met with resounding enthusiasm. Providing a robust system to assist employees with career development is a key tactic to increase employee engagement and retention.

Please contact me today for more information on the Total Engagement Career Mapping Offering and to set up a call so we can explore how this offering could fit within your organization.

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