Six effective ways to promote progression within your team

Did you know that 87% of millennials rate career progression opportunities as one of the most important factors when choosing a job?

As an employer, you want to get the best out of every member of your team to optimize the performance of your business, but how do you go about actively facilitating growth and development? In this guide, we’ll explore six effective ways to promote progression. 


Training is incredibly beneficial for employers and employees operating within all industries. From healthcare workers and customer service representatives to sales managers, retail assistants and people who work in accounting, IT, marketing and hospitality, training enhances and develops skills, broadens skillsets and enables individuals and groups to learn.

There is a vast array of training options available from long-term studies and intensive courses to virtual programs and one-day workshops. Look for training options that are relevant to both your business and your employees and aim to match individuals with courses or sessions that complement their career goals.

Training is a means of upskilling your workforce and it also equips teams to deal with challenges and tackle tasks safely. 

2) Mentoring

Mentoring plays an integral role in encouraging ambitious employees to fulfil their potential and work towards career objectives. Using mentoring software and connecting employees with mentors either virtually or in-house can help individuals to learn on the job, expand their knowledge base, develop new skills and gain confidence.

Mentors support and champion employees and they can make a real difference when it comes to building self-confidence and urging individuals to try and take the next step. Over 90% of small business owners believe that mentoring has a direct impact on the future of their company. 

3) Internal opportunities

Many people start a job with expectations and aspirations to climb the ladder. If you run a company and the people at the top of the tree have been there for decades and there is little movement in the tiers below, there is a risk of losing talented employees.

If your employees are desperate to get ahead and progress but there are no jobs available at the business, or you’re recruiting externally, they could start looking elsewhere.

Offering opportunities internally is a means of promoting growth and development but it also shows that you have faith and confidence in your team. Look for potential, recognize hard work and support employees who demonstrate leadership skills or commitment to taking on additional responsibilities.

Recruiting internally can help to boost employee retention rates and it could also save you a substantial amount of money in hiring and training fees. 

4) Employee management and strong leadership

There are several factors that can affect performance at work and influence personal targets. A lack of confidence is a common reason people don’t fulfil their potential. Employers have a role to play in managing individuals and encouraging them to have confidence in their abilities.

Building confidence can make the difference between somebody settling in a post that isn’t reflective of their skill level or potential and an employee applying for a promotion or offering to stand in at a more senior level if a colleague takes maternity leave or a secondment, for example.

Take the time to get to know your employees, discuss their individual career objectives and identify ways to help them reach those targets. Everyone is unique and different styles of leadership and management may work better for some than others. Being flexible and adaptable is hugely beneficial when leading a team comprising different personalities. 

5) Policies and guidelines

Implementing policies and guidelines that actively encourage growth and learning is a positive step forward when trying to create a culture that supports ambitions and turns dreams into a reality.

Employers can help employees to move up the career ladder by offering flexibility to accommodate all employees, providing time for training and mentoring, connecting senior and junior members of the team and promoting open communication.

Employers and managers should meet with staff regularly to monitor progress and explore personal goals, and policies should align with the values of the business. It’s no use saying that you want to champion your team if you have procedures in place that stifle growth, for example, looking for external candidates for senior roles every time one becomes available. 

6) Providing feedback

Feedback is priceless when it comes to moving through the ranks and improving performance. Often, it can be difficult to rate your own performance if you believe that you’re doing everything right and you’re meeting deadlines and hitting targets.

The truth is that nobody is perfect and a fresh set of eyes will often pick up mistakes, shortfalls or potential areas for improvement. Regular appraisals enable employers or team leaders to offer advice, provide feedback and discuss ways to address weaknesses and set new goals.

It’s critical to be honest and open with employees but to go about offering feedback with tact and discretion. Mention strengths and areas where employees are excelling and then outline steps the individual can take to enhance performance.

It’s important that you don’t damage confidence or make people feel like they’re not good enough. Feedback should always be constructive and useful and it should encourage employees to want to work towards new objectives.

It’s also essential for employers to back up comments or promises they make. If you’re keen for an employee to improve, make sure they have the tools, support and resources they need. 

Championing progression is an effective way to grow your team

Promoting and championing progression within your team is an effective way to upskill employees, encourage them to fulfil their potential and improve employee retention rates.

If you’re keen to keep hold of talented individuals, it’s vital to recognize the importance of providing opportunities, supporting employees with access to training and mentoring and taking an interest in personal goals and aims.

Communicate openly, provide constructive feedback, implement policies that support development and ensure your team has access to useful resources and tools. Try to be flexible when managing individuals and show that you have confidence and trust in your team when recruiting for new roles or more senior positions.

Photo by Christina Morillo