If You Can't Answer This, You Can't Fight Turnover

“What’s next?”

That’s the question on your long-time employees’ minds, and it’s the one you have to answer if you want to stem turnover and improve retention.

What’s next? Not for you or the company (though your plans and goals as well as the company’s may have a part to play in the answer), but for your employees. What’s next for them?

What do they have to look forward to if they stick around? What can they expect from consistent service or exceptional results? What might they accomplish or achieve – inside your company’s walls – if they push themselves just a little harder?

If you can’t answer those questions, it’s almost guaranteed that they can’t either. Yet, your employees need those answers. The answers to those questions bolster internal motivation, unlock creativity, and add quality to your employees’ lives. Those answers are why they come to work, and why they want to do that work well.

If you want motivated, engaged employees who are excited to come to work and who put forward their best efforts every day, you have to help them figure out what’s next. That “next” may be a step up within a current department – perhaps to an entry-level manager’s role – or it may be the opportunity to work with or pitch a bigger client. It may be a lateral move to another department or the creation of a new position altogether. It may be any number of things, but it has to be something .

We all want a reason to get up in the morning. We all want a reason why what we do every day matters. We all work best with a goal in mind. Developing a career path that answers the “what next” question is one of the best ways you can help your employees set up and realize those goals. It’s also the best way to improve retention.

For tips on how you can help your employees with career pathing, read Supporting Employees in Developing and Pursuing a Career Path or watch the webinar How to Create a Career Pathing Framework .