Creating Employee Experiences That Are Meaningful With Career Pathing

Kim Klosak | Jan 11, 2022 Kim Klosak 01/11/22

Leading organizations embrace change. They recognize and appreciate the value of a diverse workforce—creating employee experiences to fit the individual needs of employees.

But those needs aren’t static. They’re constantly shifting and evolving, impacted by forces both predictable (i.e., professional growth) and unforeseen (i.e., a global pandemic). And while most companies are creating meaningful employee experiences and measuring some aspect of employee engagement, many lack the continued dialogue— and follow-through—employees need to feel heard and supported as their expectations and goals change.

In this blog, we'll look at ways career pathing and dynamic action planning are helping organizations—especially SMG—create targeted goal-setting and a strategy for growth that benefit the entire company.


Provide ongoing support throughout the entire employee experience

Organizations creating meaningful employee experiences (EX) are innovating their programs and processes by going beyond point-in-time surveys and managing the entire employee life cycle—from the first interview to the last shift, and all the day-to-day moments in between.

Part of this is making sure your employee experience program includes an always-on Voice of Employee (VoE) solution for collecting unsolicited feedback. With the employee landscape changing daily, it’s important to collect real-time feedback. By providing employees with this 24/7 outlet, you won’t have to wait until the next annual survey to uncover looming issues.

The other part is using the insights surfaced from both solicited and unsolicited feedback to inform career pathing strategies and guide ongoing developmental conversations.

Encouraging these ongoing developmental conversations is a key component to SMG’s employee growth and retention strategy in 2022. For the past few months, SMG managers have gone through formal training on how to help employees own their careers and how to best support them in career development and performance management conversations. The training sessions covered how to:

  • Help teams understand career opportunities across the company by using career pathing resources
  • Empower employees to own their own growth and development
  • Have meaningful career development conversations

Create employee experiences that attract and retain top talent

Why is career pathing so important? Our recent research shows a fulfilling job has a positive impact on people staying at their current employer. Workers want to connect to their employer’s goals. And they want to know they have a place in achieving those goals.

They also want to brighten the day for the customers they interact with and know the product or service that customer is buying means something. Through our research, employees told us they wanted was to have a chance to use their personal strengths in their work. And have opportunities to learn and to grow on the job.

culture-career-pathing

Notice how none of these qualities are limited to a certain type of job or level in the organization? That’s because engagement can happen anywhere—from the staff room to the board room.

What employees want—really want—is a job that offers personally fulfilling opportunities, uses their skills, and provides a chance to grow.


Act on employee experience feedback immediately to drive meaningful change

The necessary step after action-planning is action-taking. Show employees you value their feedback by following through—because the only thing worse than not asking your employees for feedback is asking and doing nothing about it.

Acting on results at all levels of the organization—from the front line all the way to the c-suite—is key to improving employee engagement. Managers who communicate results, take steps to improve engagement, and recognize associates tend to have the best wave-over-wave improvement.

Following through on feedback doesn’t just send a positive message to employees—it also creates a proactive approach to solving issues before they become larger, systemic problems. Employee insights help answer critical business questions (i.e., What are associates telling us to improve? Which locations are seeing high turnover?), so you can move on action items that will have the most impact.

Creating this culture of feedback is in SMG’s DNA. We don’t just guide clients on employee experience best practices—we live and breathe them with our employees. Through annual company-wide EX surveys, ongoing pulse surveys, regularly scheduled manager/employee one-on-ones, and professional development check-ins at every level, SMG prioritizes employee engagement to ensure each individual feels heard and supported.


Reduce turnover and demonstrate the ROI of creating meaningful employee experiences

A service company’s employees are often its biggest, and most important, investment. Millions are spent hiring, training, and retaining service-oriented team members. Because when companies differentiate on service—with engaged employees providing 5-star human experiences to customers—they see big rewards.

It’s the reason the best-performing companies have made employee engagement a top priority. The linkage between a truly engaged workforce and better financial performance is clear and consistent.

business-benefits-of-employee-engagement

And while having a system in place to get feedback from employees is a worthy cause, it’s not worthwhile if it stops there. Businesses need a holistic approach that follows through by turning feedback into insights.

To learn more about how to attract and retain employees and demonstrate the ROI of your employee engagement efforts, download the best practice guide: Why customer-centric organizations prioritize the employee experience.

Interested in joining our team? Check out our current openings.

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