Every week we comb through the news to find employment trends affecting the hospitality industry so you don’t have to. This week’s topic: why (and how) you should invest in employees’ careers.  

Why you should invest in employees’ careers 

As a manager, having high retention rates is a key indicator that you’re maintaining a satisfying, engaging environment for employees that makes them want to stay at your company. While there are several ways to encourage retention on your team, there’s one way that has benefits for both staff and employers: investing in employees’ career paths. 

For workers, having management take an interest in their future will show that they’re not just another cog in the wheel – they’re an important asset that managers are willing to invest in. For employers, helping your team grow their careers can increase retention and reduce turnover, which will save money on hiring/firings costs. In fact, a study by The Harris Poll reports, “70% of US employees say they’re at least somewhat likely to leave their current company and accept an offer with a new company that’s known for investing in employee learning and development;” meaning if you’re not prioritizing career growth, employees will find someone who will.  

There’s another reason why it’s so beneficial to take an active interest in your employees’ goals: because you could be mentoring a future leader of your organization. If career investment can help you retain great talent, reduce turnover (thus lowering hiring expenditures), and motivate employees, why wouldn’t you?  

How to invest in employees’ careers 

Now that you know why it’s beneficial to invest in your team and their professional goals, we can look at some of the ways to put this notion into practice. Remember that the size of your team and organization will affect what’s possible in terms of employee career advancement.  

Fund learning courses or relevant certificates
A great way to invest in your employees that will help develop their skills is by literally investing in them; as in paying for courses or relevant certificates that will provide the education they need to grow. Not every company will have the necessary funds to do so, but by finding affordable options, you can help your team develop valuable skillsets and make them better employees while they work with you.  

Help them network
An introduction to the right person can be extremely valuable, especially for professionals who are just starting out or are looking for a mentor. Utilize social media or video conferencing for safe, socially-distanced introductions.  

In-house training
One of the best assets you have for employee development is your team. By introducing an in-house training program, employees can learn about positions outside of their own and receive hands on training from coworkers 

Invite outside speakers
Hosting speakers from other industries or companies will help expose your team to diverse leaders that might inspire or motivate them. When thinking about who to invite, consider asking employees what sort of speaker they’d like to hear from so you know you’ll have their attention.  

Support work life balance
Supporting a good work life balance means employees should have time outside work to focus on passion projects or other activities that advance their career goals. This should always be a priority when considering employee satisfaction. 

Lend an ear
Sometimes the best thing you can do to help is to listen. Maybe workers want to share their aspirations or get ideas on how to move forward on a project, or just have someone listen to them. You can’t go wrong with offering a friendly face who they can talk openly with 

Investing in your employee’s career goals will take time and effort (and money, in some cases) but the payback – whether literal or figurative – can be huge. Show your team that you care about their futures and in return, they’ll show their appreciation through retention, loyalty, and engagement.