10 ways to promote growth at work (and why it's important)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 12 December 2022

Published 3 January 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

There are several methods that HR managers can use to promote growth at work and the ones you choose to implement may depend on the size of your team and what's most important to them. Providing your team with regular opportunities for growth can have many advantages for you and your team, including increased engagement, improved performance and a higher employee retention rate. In this article, we discuss 10 ways you can provide opportunities for growth at work and the positive effects this can have on your team.

What is growth at work?

Growth at work can mean several things and you can decide which opportunities would be most beneficial to your team. If you're not sure what opportunities they would benefit most from, consider putting together a quick survey to ask them what they would prefer. There are four types of growth that apply to HR managers and their workplaces:

1. Financial growth

When people think of growth at work, they often think of financial growth. Opportunities to earn more motivate many employees. You can leverage this motivation by tying opportunities for financial growth to your team's performance. Award annual or monthly bonuses for the highest performers or target-based bonuses for the entire team at the end of the year. You could also set up a salary scale for employees where they're able to increase their earnings each year they stay at the company.

Related: 10 types of bonus schemes (Including when to use them)

2. Career growth

Motivated individuals usually get satisfaction from moving up the ranks within their organisation. Career growth is another way of describing promotions and advancements within a company. Offering promotions to current employees of the company rather than hiring externally has another added benefit. It can decrease the cost of onboarding and training new people, since the employee already understands the company and how it works.

Related: Types of job promotions: definition, importance and benefits

3. Professional growth and learning

Many employees value regular opportunities to improve their skills and increase their knowledge base. By providing continuing education or skills development opportunities, you can help your team feel confident and engaged with their work. It's also beneficial to the company or organisation you work for, as the employees' performance could improve with extra training. To provide this kind of opportunity for growth at work, you could consider putting on regular training sessions or providing your team with a training budget they can spend on self-studying subjects which could be useful to them.

4. Personal growth

While it may seem that personal growth has nothing to do with the world of work, it's also important to encourage employees to pursue their personal goals. People who feel they're achieving success in their personal lives may be happier and bring this positivity to work. You could do this by promoting flexible working policies, such as allowing your team to work from home or encouraging them to have a good work-life balance. You could also provide funding for your team members to pursue training in subjects of their choice, even if they're not directly related to their jobs.

Related: The benefits of flexible working and options available

Why is it important to provide opportunities for growth at work?

There are many benefits to providing opportunities for growth at work to employees, both for them and for the company. Some advantages include:

  • Increased employee engagement: Most employees feel more engaged and motivated to do their best work when they feel they're moving towards a larger goal.

  • Increased employee retention: Employees are less likely to look for work elsewhere if they feel fulfilled professionally at their current job. By doing everything you can to ensure your team feels interested and engaged in their work, you can significantly reduce your staff turnover.

  • Potential for innovation: Promoting growth at work can also mean encouraging employees at all levels to share their ideas, which can lead to interesting strategies you may not have thought of pursuing otherwise.

  • Improved performance: Employees who feel motivated because of opportunities for growth at work provided to them usually feel more motivated to do their best. This can improve the overall performance of your organisation.

Related: What is work ethic and why is it important?

10 ways to provide opportunities for growth to your team

Human resources departments have some great options for growth initiatives. Here are 10 ideas you could try:

1. Set up a mentoring programme

Employees can learn a lot from a mentor, particularly if they have a lot of experience in that employee's field or industry. By setting up a mentoring programme and encouraging your team to take part, you can help them learn from others who are more seasoned. Discussing their careers with successful people can also be very inspirational for employees and is an important part of facilitating growth at work.

Read more: Benefits of mentoring for mentors, mentees and organisations

2. Consider leadership development programmes

By providing your team with the opportunity to take part in leadership development programmes, you can prepare them for future roles which require them to manage other people. Allowing employees to build leadership skills even when they're not yet in a supervisory position can encourage them to aim for such a position in the future and ensure they're ready for the responsibility if you eventually promote them.

3. Offer regular (and useful) training opportunities

Offering training for your team is a great way to make sure their skills are up to date and that they have all the tools and knowledge they require to do their jobs effectively. It's important to make sure the training you provide is helpful to enable growth at work, and so your team is more likely to engage with it. If you're not sure what training they would benefit from, consider sending out a survey to ask them.

Related: Training for corporates: 14 employee training programmes

4. Set up career development services

Career counselling, mentoring and job shadowing opportunities are just a few examples of career development services. By providing these options for growth at work, you can encourage your team to think about their future and where they would like their careers to take them. This can help increase engagement as employees feel motivated to work towards both their short-term and long-term goals.

Related: The differences between career growth vs. development

5. Contribute to tuition or training fees

Depending on the company you work for, you might offer upfront financial assistance to employees who want to go back to university to increase their knowledge and qualifications. Another option is to create a system for employees to apply for partial reimbursement or university internship credits. A less expensive alternative might be to fund seminars, online courses or night classes that could help them in their career development in their growth at work.

6. Give regular constructive feedback

Help your team stay on the right track by offering regular feedback and informing them of any problems with their work as soon as possible. It's important to do this in a constructive way and to provide guidance on improving their performance if there are any problems. Also, remember to ask them if there is anything specific that they feel might hinder them in their jobs, and listen carefully to their answers so you can help them do their best work.

Related: How to give constructive feedback at work (with examples)

7. Organise brainstorming sessions

Encourage your team to share ideas about how to improve your organisation's operations or performance. Some companies take feedback anonymously. If you organise regular brainstorming sessions, you can get your team together to share their ideas in a non-judgmental and collaborative environment. Having their ideas listened to, and perhaps even seeing them implemented, can help motivate your team and may encourage them to seek more opportunities to take part in company strategy in the future.

8. Invite employees to networking events

By encouraging your team to attend industry networking events, you can help them make new connections and learn from other professionals who are successful in their fields. You could start by looking into the events that take place in your area and sourcing tickets for your team to encourage growth at work. If there are no relevant events you could attend, consider hosting one.

Related: 9 types of networking opportunities and their importance

9. Plan company retreats or away days

Company 'away days', team-building events or retreats encourage employees to get to know one another on a personal level. Building a sense of camaraderie and friendship within your team can help support a collaborative and positive working environment. Since these events often include various internal teams who don't normally interact, introducing your team members to other people at the company could create interesting opportunities for them to build relationships across departments.

10. Consider hiring internally for open roles

When you have a role to fill on your team, consider posting it for internal candidates before you advertise it to the general public and encourage team members to apply if it fits their skills and abilities. Even if they don't get the promotion, it can show your team that you value them and their skills to promote growth at work. This can also reduce your hiring costs, as current employees won't take as long to learn about the company and its internal processes.

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