How do you attract the best people AND then make sure they stick around and stay motivated

As anyone in HR would tell you, this is a continuous process; it is not a one-time solution or package that you can offer employees, but a long-term, deep-rooted organisational culture that ensures employees at all levels stay constantly engaged and motivated.

A big part of this process is career development.

Employees across the board, especially the millennials, understand that to grow and scale the corporate ladder they need to offer more value for money – i.e., additional skills, more experience or a mature and strategic thought process – some of these come with time and some need to be developed – but they all need the employer’s support.

Whether it is offering your team opportunities to stretch their minds and resources or giving them time to study further or offering in-house skill-building opportunities – the organisation is the first port of call for an employee’s career development. Almost all employees look internally for professional growth opportunities, and when they don’t find it, they eventually leave!

You are probably thinking – “hey, we know all this! But there is only so much we can do with our budgets and resources.”

Agreed! It is not our intention to teach you your job, what we hope to do instead is highlight some companies that are implementing this successful programme – to maybe leave you a bit inspired for your next L&D meeting!

So, without further ado, here are a few career development initiatives we really liked –

Successful Career Development Initiatives

1. Pixar, AT&T, and Schneider Electric

Why we like them: Huge investment in creating university-style learning environment and infrastructure for all employees.

All these three global giants have invested a serious amount of time, money and thought into developing huge learning centers for their employees.

While at Pixar the focus remains on fostering creative thinking, at the AT&T University the scope is broader, and they have achieved this by partnering with well-known online and physical universities; all employees can choose from a large variety of courses developed in partnership with Georgia Tech and Udacity Inc.

At the other end of the spectrum is Schneider Electric; they have created a learning center that is very specific to their domain and offers over 200 courses on energy efficiency and data centers.

2. Culture Amp

Why we like them: The initiative lies with the employees, and it’s not all about professional learning – the initiatives are really about what the employee wants not what’s best for the company.

Culture Amp has really given the responsibility of learning to the people along with the tools. They have two great programmes which can be implemented by companies of all sizes –

Coaching for Everyone – Every single employee is provided with sessions with an executive coach or a life coach at 6, 12 and 24 months and they can use these sessions for anything they like – professional or personal issues.

Learn Yourself Up – a quarterly budget for training is open for all to use – for anything they like. Employees pay for a part of the course fees – a smaller percentage for professional courses and a higher one for a personal one. But again, it can be anything they like.

3. Optoro

Why we like them: Employees are given budgets to use as they see fit.

Optoro offers its employees an annual professional development budget that they can use – in conjunction with their managers – to further their professional skills.

They also provide skills-based seminars on a plethora of topics the whole year round and actively encourage all employees to participate in the conferences, organizations and learning programs that will keep them expanding their professional knowledge.

4. Amazon

What we like: No questions asked, equal opportunity for all

If you have been an Amazon employee for at least one year then you are eligible for a course worth $12000!

The Career Choice Program by Amazon pre-pays 95% of tuition and fees for certificates and associate degrees in areas that are in high demand, such as aircraft mechanics, computer-aided design, machine tool technologies, medical lab technologies, nursing, and so on – regardless of whether they have any relevance to work at Amazon!


We doubt there is any organisation out there, large or small, that is not working hard to engage and motivate employees to the best of their abilities and budgets.

But, it is easy to get caught up in the business of running an organisation; of meeting targets and deadlines. Which is why you need to remember these three things –

  1. Employees WANT to be good at their work and they WANT the resources to do better.
  2. Career Development planning doesn’t have to be expensive, time-consuming or very elaborate – but it has to be meaningful.
  3. If you don’t fulfil the development aspirations of your employees, the most talented of them will leave. And this will cost you in the long run.

Whether you have a robust L&D programme or are just starting to put down the foundation of your career development policies, it always pays to understand the needs and aspirations of your employees and this is where we can help.

To know more click the Request Consultation button above.


Struggling to keep your millennial employees motivated?

Discover how to keep your new-age workforce engaged and loyal.

Motivating, retaining and keeping your employees happy and engaged will always be a priority for the entire management, not just HR but for anyone who manages a team.

As the new generation of Millennials enters the workforce in large numbers, to create a productive environment, policies and engagement models need to align with their way of thinking.

How does a millennial approach work?                 

With high expectations, high energy and high self-confidence – millennials approach work very differently from the baby boomer generation! They are extremely comfortable working in teams and in flatter organisations, love to multi-task and, of course, are completely at ease with digital technology.

For the millennial – aware of global situations – civic responsibility is quite important; they don’t just want to do well but also do some good!

Creativity and innovation is also something they value highly at the workplace. Being able to come up with new ideas, processes, products or services is important for them, and a company with a culture of encouraging an individual’s talents gets an instant thumbs up.

How can companies retain and integrate millennials to grow their businesses?

46% of the workforce will be made up of Millennials by 2020! While we need to engage and retain them, we also cannot afford to ignore the other 54% of older employees.

While some motivating factors remain true across ages – money, responsibility, and appreciation – generational viewpoints differ on the specifics. It has become clear that a one-size-fits-all engagement policy is not entirely effective in organisations with a mix of age groups and generations.

Here are some initiatives that can be targeted towards Millennials and also appeal to the Gen-Ys:

Flexible Working Solutions

Work-life balance is cited as the number one factor for choosing a job according to this study by Deloitte. This can be done by breaking down the traditional workday and offering flexible working hours. The idea is to prioritise deadlines and outcomes over putting in a set number of hours.

With so much technology, there is no reason to be rigidly chained to the desk anymore – allowing employees to choose their work times can go a long way in keeping them happy.

Continuous Feedback & Appraisals

Usually, the organisational appraisal policies are annual or bi-annual at best. With millennials, there is a demand for more regular and constructive feedback.

This is a generation that wants to know where they stand and are looking for ways to improve – for this continuous and constructive feedback is important. This small but essential change to the appraisal structure can go a long way to make millennials – and indeed everyone in the company – more productive.

Quicker Promotions or Incentive Schemes

The organisational structure where they have to wait years for a promotion is seen as demotivating by most millennials.

While some organisations cannot create new titles or change promotion policies, performance bonuses, training opportunities and some forms of recognition always help create a sense of achievement and progress which highly coveted by everyone regardless of their age.

Social / Community Building Programmes

According to the 2014 Millennial Impact Report, 94% of millennials want to use their professional skills to benefit a cause.

A great way to harness this energy is to involve them in CSR activities. A company that is seen as a socially conscious organisation is sure to appeal to the millennial worker.

More Learning & Development Opportunities

Almost all organisations have L&D policies and matching budgets to facilitate their projects. Millennial employees value skill enhancement and advancement, and a generous L&D HR policy would certainly make an organisation seem more attractive.

Over decades HR policies have worked with some of the ideas mentioned above – L&D and Incentive Schemes have figured in HR and Management discussions for years. The challenge is to adapt these existing policies to meet the expectations of the new generation of employees.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you are a 20-year-old fresher or a 60-year-old approaching retirement, we all want the same things in life – we want to take care of our families, succeed at work, leave behind a legacy and enjoy ourselves – the only difference is how we approach this key human wants.

If you are looking for ways to engage your employees, then we can certainly help. We can help you devise strategies that can foster real engagement and across all organization levels. Click on the Request Consultation button above.


The 5 Step Process for Giving Constructive Feedback

The process of communication comes full circle only when the sender’s intended message is completely understood by the receiver of the message and feedback about that understanding is communicated to the sender by the receiver. However, it is not always as simple as sending and receiving messages. At times we need to communicate feedback as well and depending upon the situation, the feedback may be positive or critical.

Minal shares her experience and says, “The schedules had been sent out two weeks in advance and the dates had been blocked for the monthly review meeting. This was one monthly catch up session we did as a team wherein we went over all our business plans and reviewed our numbers. This was my fourth review meet with this new team I had been asked to lead and as I sat in the conference room waiting for the team members, I still worried about Rahul who had consistently walked in, unprepared, for each of the review meetings. What was I to do if he did that again?”

We are all faced with similar apprehensions when we need to give feedback. At such times, we may choose to ignore the problem, we may choose to get upset about the whole thing or we could consciously choose to share feedback with the person concerned.

This five step process is quite helpful when it comes to sharing constructive feedback:

1. Point out the Problem in Behaviour: It is essential to understand the difference between the person and the problem. We need to point out that we have a problem with the person’s behaviour and not with the person.

Minal: “Rahul, I need to speak to you. Could you please come with me to my office? I have noticed that you have been walking in unprepared for our review meetings. It is essential that you come armed with your data when we do the review meeting so that we are all on the same page.”

2. Point out exactly what is wrong: Vague feedback seldom helps. It is therefore essential to specifically state what the issue is quite clearly and why that issue is a problem. Not painting a clear picture will only lead to ineffective communication and a lot of misunderstandings.

Minal: “The business plans we create are all dependent on the numbers. When you don’t bring in the data, coming to a conclusion regarding what plans are feasible and what plans are not becomes difficult.”

3. Help them recognize the Issue: It is not enough just to give feedback. Once feedback has been given, it is also important to seek acknowledgment as to whether the issue has been understood or not and whether the person receiving the feedback plans to do something about it.

Minal: “It is a problem area and you do see that it needs to be corrected, right?”

4. Establish Goals: Goal setting essentially entails creating an action plan which will help in attaining the desired end result. Feedback does not stop just with pointing out what is ineffective. Effective feedback comprises solutions to problems, not just identifying and acknowledging problems. In the case of Minal and Sarika, the end result is a change in behaviour and approach to work.

Minal: “Help me understand the reason for being unprepared so that we can both work out solutions to this problem together. Let us figure out how we can solve this problem. Also, let me know how I can help you.”

5. Evaluate Performances: A follow- through is essential, especially after feedback has been given and goals have been set. A performance evaluation post constructive feedback helps deliver two pertinent messages: i) It helps to understand whether the feedback has percolated down to the receiver of the feedback. ii) It helps in establishing the message that the person providing objective feedback is concerned about the issue.

Minal: “I would like to do a small review with you every Friday at 4.00 PM so that we can resolve all the issues you are facing and get you all the requisite training before our next review meet.”

A bonus tip: Focus only on developing future plans through your feedback. And remember, especially while giving constructive feedback; make sure you give it in a private setting.