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High flyers are more likely to want to take control of their career, and more likely to move internally or externally for growth and advancement opportunities, giving employers food for thought in effectively retaining them.

ManpowerGroup, Right Management’s new report Talk The Talk: How Ongoing Career Conversations Drive Business Success shows that skilled individuals, particularly those in with in-demand skills, are dictating how, where and when they want to work.

This has made it more crucial than ever for managers to hold constant and meaningful conversations with staff to ensure they know where they are headed and are happy with the direction.

The report finds nine out of 10 (89%) of employees believe they are responsible for their own career development and 59% of employees believe that their manager is responsible for helping them achieve their career goals inside the organisation.

However, only 16% of employees indicate that they have ongoing conversations with their managers about their career and 24% feel they aren’t currently getting the right career advice from their managers.

The study also finds a majority of employees are looking for more guidance on how to grow and advance their careers. 82% said they would be more engaged if their manager incorporated ongoing career conversations into their day-to-day reporting processes.

More than half (53%) of employees would like to receive training – emphasising the need for organisations to provide resources and tools to help encourage individual growth.

ALSO READ: Flexible working helps women, but derails men’s careers

A career conversation is not a single conversation between an employee and his or her manager rather it is a series of conversations with a network of people which can include their manager, designed to address the questions employees care most about.

The report came up with six conversation topics that employers can follow to make their team feel empowered about the direction of their own career and achieve personal goals while still driving the business forward:

1. Who am I? An assessment to look at what the individual wants to achieve and where they currently fit in an organisation.

2. What is expected of me? Planning a development path, ensuring goals are SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.

3. What and how should I develop? Looking at specific areas for individual development.

4. How am I doing? Providing ongoing assessment and engagement with the employee’s manager.

5. How will my talent and contribution be recognised? Development of a motivation and reward programme specifically suited to personal motivation.

6. What’s next? Looking at next steps in an individual’s career and how to work towards them.

The research also finds effective career conversation is key to driving performance, with two-thirds of respondents saying their performance is tied to effective career conversations.

And if these conversations took place more regularly, 78% would share ideas more freely and 75% would be more likely to stay with their current employer.

Image: Shutterstock

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