Why Career Development Conversations Are a Must for New Managers

2 businessmen discussing Career Development Conversations

Career Development Conversations Matter
Career development conversations are a must for new managers looking to create a high performing and engaged team.  While most new manager training focuses on helping new managers navigate their own careers, it often neglects how to successfully help their direct reports navigate their own careers.

Pay Attention to the Career Aspirations of Others
We maintain that it is critical that new managers also pay close and regular attention to the careers of their individual team members.

Should Career Development Conversations Follow Performance Review Trends?
We know that in most high growth organizations the annual performance review is quickly on its way out, shifting toward consistent and more frequent performance conversations.

  • We wondered if employee career development conversations should follow suit.
  • Would discussing employee career opportunities and paths more frequently have the same positive effects as more regular performance conversations — increased engagement, motivation, and performance?

We did the research to find out.

Employee Engagement Context to Set the Stage
Let’s start by setting some context regarding employee engagement.

Why Employee Engagement Matters to New Managers
We define employee engagement as the combination of:

  • Employee Advocacy
    High levels of employee advocacy mean that employees think and speak highly of the organization, its people, its offerings and their manager.
  • Discretionary Effort
    High levels of discretionary effort mean that employees are constantly thinking of ways to go the extra mile.
  • Intent to Stay
    High levels of intent to stay mean that employees want to keep working for you and feel loyal and connected to their manager and the organization.

Why Employee Engagement Matters to the Organization
Companies with higher levels of employee engagement report:

  • 18% greater productivity
  • 12% higher customer satisfaction
  • 51% less voluntary turnover

Companies with lower levels of employee engagement report:

  • 12% lower profits
  • 19% lower operating income
  • 28% lower earnings per share

The Career Development Research
In a research study earlier this year, we found that employee engagement surveys should be conducted annually to foster the highest levels of employee engagement. Our study on the effectiveness of career conversations was similar. We put our philosophy to the test…

  • Do career conversations (where employees and managers discuss employee career paths, opportunities for advancement, and ways to learn and grow in their careers) that occur on a more frequent basis positively impact employee engagement?

Why yes, yes they do! Results are shown below.

career graph

Applying the Career Development Research to Management Development
The research has greatly informed our new manager training programs.

  • Managers who held career development conversations at least once per year had 28.3% higher levels of employee engagement compared to managers who held them less than once per year.
  • Managers who held career development conversations on a monthly basis had 43.7% higher levels of employee engagement.

What Surprised Us the Most
Surprisingly, there’s not a distinct difference between having quarterly or annual career conversations, which suggests that — from a resource and time management perspective — it’s better to have annual conversations. However, engagement spikes up sharply when moving from quarterly to monthly career conversations.

And because the difference is negligible between “more than once a month” and “once a month,” these results paint the following picture: monthly career conversations are optimal for the best engagement results.

The Bottom Line
We believe that any meaningful conversations between managers and their followers increase employee engagement by strengthening the connections between employees and their job.  Frequent check-ins by managers show employees that you care about their well-being and want to do all you can to help them be successful.  Keep tabs on how things are going for your team and provide relevant growth opportunities to enhance their path forward.

To learn more about how managers can best engage their top talent, download The Top 10 Most Powerful Ways to Boost Employee Engagement.

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Congratulations on your pro-activity in establishing this program and developing such an effective New Employee Orientation course.

Farhat Ali
President and Chief Executive Office

Fujitsu

We value our relationship with LSA Global. We came to LSA because we wanted to improve overall behavioral based interviewing capabilities of our managers to increase the probability of both hiring top talent and future leaders. LSA designed a highly customized solution for our business and culture. We are currently rolling out this solution to our leaders. I would highly recommend LSA Global as a top quality resource.

Rae Phillips
HR Project Manager - Training & Development, PHR

LSA’s Employee Engagement Consulting and Survey work has provided critical visibility into: how well our people are holding up under the general economic environment, as well as, the specific challenges that face biotechnology companies in their efforts to discover and develop new medicines; their level of alignment and commitment to XOMA’s Vision and mission critical strategies; how leadership practices and management systems support an environment that engender commitment, and the specific actions that our leaders can take to improve on areas that are important to our people. I highly recommend LSA’s employee engagement solutions.

Chris Wells
Vice President, HR and IT

We recently partnered with LSA Global to offer our Supervisors and Managers a customized two-day management training program. Everyone who attended said it was by far the best management training program they had ever attended. The content was rich and highly interactive. The case studies were relevant. Each participant walked away from the training much better equipped to lead their teams.

Jeff Coon
Director of Human Resources

SeaTel has found our partnership with LSA Global to be very valuable and beneficial. We turned to LSA to customize a supervisory/leadership solution to meet our needs. LSA delivered a customized top quality solution. I’d recommend LSA Global to any company looking for a best-in-class training and consulting partner.

Kortney Riddle
HR Manager

LSA custom designed a Management Development program that is absolutely “on target” for our technical managers. Their facilitator has done a superb job delivering the material in a way that is fast paced, highly interactive, and fun. She presents practical solutions to the people situations that our managers face every day. I regard LSA as an excellent partner that understands our business needs and a virtual member of our HR department.

Judith Onton
Vice President Human Resources

We consider LSA Global our outsourced learning and development partner. We worked closely with LSA to customize a management development program to meet our growing business needs. I would highly recommend LSA to any company wanting to deliver quality learning solutions.

Terri Wright-Scheer
Vice President Human Resources

Here’s a token of my appreciation for ALL your efforts. I’m offering my most sincere appreciation, and it extends to all the folks who made our customized management development programs possible.

Susan Anderson
Workforce Planning Bureau

I had been working with LSA for many years with my prior company. Currently, I’m with a company who hadn’t done much basic management skills training. After identifying and presenting a program recently, our managers are excited and talking in the halls about the great experience. LSA saves us time in delivering the right training for our needs.

Phyllis Moracco
HR Director

We engaged LSA to design and deliver a 6-month custom executive coaching program for a group of our key leaders. The focus of the program was to help a core group of senior leaders to leverage previous investments in management training, to ensure the engagement and retention of key employees, and to push critical strategic initiatives forward. Even with the high expectations of our senior people, LSA has completely exceeded our expectations. I would recommend them to anyone looking to create and implement a custom coaching methodology using proven tools to drive true change.

Ivan Fukumoto
Senior HR Manager - Staffing, Training, & Development

I have worked with other training companies and found it to be more of a seller/buyer relationship than one of matching the right expertise to our business issues. That’s what LSA does – ask the hard questions, listen, and understand our business needs. We receive the benefit of their expertise from assistance with personal development plans to enhancing team performance, to looking at enterprise-wide challenges. It’s all about helping our business succeed as we grow. Right now, LSA is providing great ideas, a fresh approach, and valuable guidance as we develop our management team and accelerate our client relationship management results.

Kristin Westland-Kaune
Director, Team Development

Our company engaged LSA to do a specialized “train the trainer” program, and the consultant’s performance outdid our exceptionally high standards for such a program. Very crucial to the success of this program was the work done upfront to discuss our needs and to interview key members of our organization so that the program specifically met our goals. Our facilitators continue to comment on the success of the program. Thanks also for the follow-up.

Frank Abbott
Chief Financial Officer

Working with LSA Global has proven to be extremely valuable and worthwhile. LSA understands our business, has deep expertise in content areas, and tailors the programs to deliver great results. The facilitator was extremely knowledgeable about Working Globally with India and her energy and passion made the session interesting, fun, and enjoyable for all that attended. The participants walked away extremely pleased along with highly useful practices and tools. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company that has partners or offices in India.

Glenn McGillivray
Human Resources Business Partner

Intuit

In my years working with LSA, it seems like I’ve had a personal consultant at my fingertips to help me identify just the right solution to satisfy our needs. The entire LSA team has become a trusted friend of Actel — assuring we provide state-of-the-art learning to meet our complex, high-tech business and people needs.

Linda Mitchell
Training Manager

We have worked with LSA Global for our learning and development needs and have always had great success. They helped us recently with customized Management Workshops that we held for the second time. It was fantastic, and I would highly recommend LSA to anyone that is attempting to get immediate and impactful improvements.

Mary Johnston
HR Manager, BU Radiology Informatics

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