Giving your people room to succeed. Prioritizing career growth

Giving your people room to succeed. Prioritizing career growth

Avatar photo Jeff Gipson | March 10, 2023

It seems like every time I look at my phone or turn on my office computer I see the words recession, layoffs, downsizing and the like. As someone who observes hiring markets every day, I can tell you that the way the hiring markets are being portrayed is less than accurate.  

While it’s true some industries—such as tech—have suffered as a result of overcorrection and a miscalculation of what their user and consumer base would look like in 2023, a fair amount of industries, such as insurance, are growing at rates post-pandemic we may have never expected. The tech industry’s misstep should be evidence enough that probability is never a certain indicator of what’s to come and that team building and retention are top menu items for any company in any economy.  

Creating a place where professionals want to grow. 

Facts are facts. In a study conducted by Workplace Intelligence, over 80 percent of the employees they asked rated skill improvement among their top priorities when evaluating their current or a future professional home—and nearly 90 percent noted that they had already invested time and energy to grow, develop new skills and abilities and ultimately make themselves a more valuable asset for their team and the industries they work within.  

Every step an employee takes to set and achieve new professional goals is part of career growth. Creating environments that enable these steps and cultures that encourage and reward personal professional improvement is going to be key when wanting to be attractive to the insurance industry’s—and quite frankly any industry’s—stand-out talent. Top performers rise to the top because every step of their professional journey is considered, calculated, prepared for and planned. They anticipate the needs of their industry and arm themselves with the relevant intelligence and skill progression that forges them into someone sought-after and indispensable. They transform into a game-changer.  

If your organization wants these talented and impactful people, you need to create places that let them be brilliant and encourage a professional metamorphosis that will allow you to now only market yourself as a difference-maker, but will help you realize your own goals as a business.  

Why is career growth key?  

It makes your organization more attractive. 

We should always be preparing to grow—preparing for the success that efficient and effective best practices can offer. Top candidates want to see evidence that you care not only about your profitability but about their “what comes next.” They want to know that you have opportunities for advancement, programs tailored towards skill development and tracks that will provide them opportunities to enhance their level of contribution.  

It costs you less in the long run. 

As a recruiter, maybe I shouldn’t be telling you this, but if you have any sense, you know that keeping and repurposing capable talent is far less expensive than finding someone that fits a critical role and your culture. Creating places for your talent to move, evolve and grow professionally provides freedom for them to create the professional future they desire without having to seek those metaphorical greener pastures. 

It builds competency. 

Skill shortages are a reality. As a talent acquisition specialist, one of the greatest challenges is knowing where to find talent and how to find talent, but the supply of that talent is becoming increasingly limited. Evolving markets generally create highly specialized and new roles faster than the talent pool can supply them. It takes time to train and educate a new generation of professionals, and learning what it takes to be successful in these new roles can only be achieved through trial, error and practical experience.  

Creating career growth opportunities where current and future employees can take on these new roles will not only make them more dynamic team members, but it will go far towards creating a culture where the retention of team members is of prime importance. You’ll keep folks longer and create teams that are highly agile.  

At the James Allen Companies, we encourage you to coach, provide time for peer directed learning, create experience-driven and organization-led support systems, prioritize hands-on training and conduct regular audits of your operational capabilities, making the adjustments and providing the career growth opportunities that will strengthen your overall ability to react and excel in any and all market conditions.  

About the Author

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Jeff Gipson
Jeff Gipson Sr. is a veteran of the staffing industry, with more than 30 years of experience. He got his start working for an international staffing organization where he focused on information technology placements across the country. In July 1992, Jeff continued his staffing career with a St. Louis based information technology staffing company. There, he was strategically involved in launching the organization’s first branch office — and subsequently three additional branch offices over the next several years. In July 2000 Jeff made another move — this time to launch his own staffing company, continuing his IT focus. In 2003 the organization was reinvented. Relying on his earlier sales career in the insurance industry, the company changed course and began building the firm around the insurance industry. The company continues to put all their energy in the insurance sector filling positions of all titles across the country. Jeff and his wife Carolyn have been married since 1980. They have three children and seven grandchildren.
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