- Estelle Curry
Nine weeks ago, we launched the Prepare to Flourish series to help people impacted by the pandemic. Our mission throughout this series was to give you the tools and support to help you get back to work or change roles. We’ve taken a step-by-step approach to support you on your journey, and we enlisted the help of industry experts to share their knowledge and experiences. We wanted to create a return-to-work resource that was accessible to the people who needed it most. Hopefully, the topics in the Prepare to Flourish series will land you that perfect job.
But once you have the job for a few years, you’ll be looking for a promotion, and at some stage, you’ll want to move on to another job. So, just like getting to the stage where you can run a 5k, learn how to speak a new language, or play an instrument, you must maintain the skills learnt in the Prepare to Flourish series or lose the ability. So, how do you keep the momentum going?
Employee engagement strategies
Many companies use a model called employee life cycle to develop strategies to keep their employees engaged, motivated and productive throughout their time with that company.
We have modified the employee life cycle model to give you a framework to maintain your success in your new role. The Prepare to Flourish topics have supplied the tools and skills to get you the job, and the great news is that these are transferable. The very same toolkit can set you up for success throughout the remaining stages of the life cycle and see you move successfully from one role to the next. Let’s look at what skills from the series will play a leading role in each stage of the employee life cycle.
When you start a new job, this is possibly one of the most exciting and nerve-wracking moments of the life cycle. Mountains of new information surround you; you’re meeting countless new people, and it’s possible to feel pretty useless in regards to what you can actually contribute until you familiarize yourself with the requirements of the role.
Your new employer is going to want to help you get your bearings and get you up to speed as quickly as possible. You’ll be bombarded with policies, procedures, processes, and people. You’re going to get a deep understanding of products and services, along with organizational information such as mission, vision, and values. You’re going to quickly find out how things are done in your new job and what behaviors will be expected of you.
Most employers will have a structured onboarding checklist; it’s a list of things that they will want you to do and achieve by specific dates. Thinking back to the Get Strategic segment, it’s a great idea to have a checklist of your own. First, figure out what you want to get from this job. What strengths and skills do you want to use and develop? You’ll most likely be setting objectives during this stage; great employers give team members a lot of space to shape these; if you’re given the freedom to do this, take advantage of it.
You’ll be meeting staff members from every department, at all levels of seniority, and you’ll quite likely meet a lot of key decision-makers. Use the tips and techniques introduced during the Authentic Networking segment; connecting with the right people now and building a good relationship will no doubt help you in your current role as you settle in, and later in your time with the company when you’re established. Remember, networking is a long game. Who knows, it could help you make an internal move down the line. Or one of those may leave in the future and connect you to your next job.
If you find yourself getting a touch of imposter syndrome as you meet your new colleagues, take another listen to the Remain Confident episode, you’ll be reminded of the tools and tips to remain confident. Remember you were hired for this job, you were chosen out of many other candidates, on your own merit. You deserve this. You have a lot to offer.
Learn & Develop
During this stage of the employee lifecycle, you’re probably up to speed and ready to embrace more responsibilities. Many employers will have some form of performance management system. It might be appraisals, reviews, or catch-ups. This is a fantastic and very underused tool. When used correctly, it can be an empowering process by which you evaluate how you’re doing and where you want to go, then plan how to get there, just like we discussed in the Get Strategic segment.
Be responsible for your own development. As you review your progress against your objectives, keep a note of them. Your self-awareness will be a great support here, so check in with the Creating Awareness segment. Assess how you achieved your objectives, identify what strengths, values, and behaviors you demonstrated. These are going to be your future answers when you have a review, go for a promotion or interview for another job. If you recall in the Interviewing through Storytelling segment, your ability to tell an engaging and concise story during reviews and interviews is crucial. The stories that you have right now could be long forgotten, so keep them somewhere they can be easily retrieved. That way you can refresh your memory when required.
Once you have a firm grip on your new role and your learning curve is more curved than a vertical line, this is an excellent time to check back in with your existing network and begin to cultivate more authentic connections outside of your current company. It will open more business opportunities for you and ultimately support your success, now and in the future. For reminders on how to cultivate that network, check back in with our Authentic Networking blog.
Recognition for work comes in many forms and can include public recognitions, perks, additional benefits, promotions, performance-related pay, or salary increases. Recognition is one of the top motivating tools employers have. Happy, engaged employees are more productive and stay with the company longer, and as such, it’s more economical and good for business.
However, it’s not just the employers who benefit from engaged employees; the employee does too; it’s a win-win. If you are happy and engaged in your work, that will positively impact your life and career. Every company will have their unique form of recognition. If your company is big on continuous feedback, keep any positive feedback you receive in one place, add it to your success bank, as discussed in the Remaining Confident blog. This is a great way to support a request for a pay raise or a promotion. If you don’t get what you were looking for, remember the Be Resilient tips you discovered to help you overcome the disappointment. Resilience, confidence, and self-awareness are critical supporting skills that underpin your success throughout each stage of the employee life cycle.
When asking for a raise or going for a promotion, remember what you learned from the Negotiate with Confidence podcast. Prepare for salary negotiations like it is an exam. Do your market research, work out your needs and wants, and be prepared to showcase what you have achieved so far, both in terms of positive feedback and sowing the impact you’ve made. Think back to the Resume & Cover Letter Clean Up for tips on demonstrating the impact you have made.
No matter how much you love your job or your company, it will come to an end at some point, whether it is retirement or moving on to a new company. This is a natural progression and one that can often be bittersweet. Perhaps you’ve been at your job for a while, and there’s no room for progression. Maybe your company is merging with another, and your role is at risk. Whatever the reason, this is when you know that you’re going to be looking for a job in the near future, whether passively or actively. This is the time to dig out the notebook of your achievements; this is when you ensure your LinkedIn profile is up to date. You’re reaching out to people you know, testing the waters, doing your research. Then, as you search for new roles, a new cycle begins; check back in with the Prepare to Flourish series. It will help you identify what you want from your next position, create a new strategy to get that perfect job, and all the supporting skills that go with that.
It is essential to leave your job with as much engagement as you had when you joined. This can be hard; it’s very easy to mentally check out once you’ve handed in your notice. But how you leave your job reflects on you and your personal brand. You want people to say good things about you when you go; you want them to continue to be your advocates even though they are no longer your colleagues.
Prepare to Flourish
So that is it, the final blog in the Prepare to Flourish series. It has been a joy putting this series together and connecting you with such fantastic industry experts. The series can’t end without thanking them. We are immensely grateful for their time and for sharing their expertise with us. They were all terrific guests, and they each brought their unique perspectives and expertise to the series.
To our jobseekers, we wish you the very best of luck in your job search. We have gone through a lot of information over the last nine weeks, so be sure to download these episodes so you’ll have them to refer to when you need to maintain success.
Finally, we asked each of our experts to share their tips on how to maintain success. Please tune in to our final episode here to hear what they had to say.
What steps will you take this week to flourish?
Edited by Stephen Flanagan at Talent Attract.