Career Development in an SME

“No benefits, no annual pay increase, and no hierarchical structure for you to progress into…’

Not really the punchiest line for you to use in your latest job advert!  However, it is often the reality when you’re recruiting into an SME.  So how else can you interest and attract high quality candidates – the candidates that in a smaller business particularly you know you need to entice to sustain and grow your business?

By offering career development opportunities that’s how.

No, you may not have huge financial budgets to pay the highest salaries (especially in the current climate) and you may not be able to offer a plethora of benefits but as a smaller employer, with the right attitude you can offer them so much more.  In an SME, when upwards promotion isn’t always possible, thinking about other valuable development opportunities will be the key to retaining and keeping employees engaged.

Of course there will be some costs associated with career development but it isn’t just about expensive training courses and degrees.  The development you can offer in an SME in terms of more responsibility, flexibility and input into the decision making process can often outweigh the benefits of a professional qualification.  Demonstrating you have faith in employees and placing trust in them can help drive your business forward.

Many business will have been in a difficult position recently and continuing for a few months but offering career development opportunities to your top talent will put you in a good position when your business is ready to take the next step.

When your business is ready to expand again you will have quality, internally grown candidates that can lead your key departments and continue your success.  Via your successful career development programme (informal and/or informal), your employees will know the business, have the product/market knowledge, will understand the decision making process, may even be able to suggest opportunities to expand the business and when the time is right will successfully be able to use their skills that you’ve developed to now lead your next team.

A larger organisation may initially be able to offer more salary and other employee benefits that may put smiles on faces, but often the restrained role within tight boundaries, company politics and decisions taking forever will usually result in low job satisfaction.  Enrichment, engagement, flexibility and a reputation of valuing your employees will always attract the most ambitious people.

And what about if you don’t offer it?

Simply put; you will not keep your best employees.  You will also pay out a lot of money in recruitment costs, waste a lot of your time and your reputation could take a hit.  Why take the risk?

So let us help you get it right.  If you’re a business owner or manager, finding yourself losing too many employees due to lack of opportunity, or not knowing where to start in putting a career development programme together, give us a call.  We can discuss yours and your employee needs and come up with a plan, working with you to implement and embed the process within your culture enabling you to get on with doing what you do best – running your business.

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