"passion led us here" on ground with shoes

Younger generations expect to be coached and developed in their workplace. Gallup analytics shows millennials are more likely than the previous generation to say that development opportunities and ‘quality of manager’ are extremely important in a new job. Young employees want a manager who cares about them as a person and who is actively engaged in their career growth.”

Teams are made up of individuals and today’s workforce is interested in their individual development and progress. What are you doing about it?

Let’s do a quick assessment of your involvement in the career growth of your team members. On a scale of one to ten grade yourself on the following:

  • How well you know the long-term career goals of each team member?
  • How well you know the path that brought each member into their current position?
  • How well are you developing each team member to fulfill their long-term career goals?

What does your score tell you? For most of us, get more involved. A more important question is; what would the impact be on your team if each score was an 8 or above?

For most, it would mean a more effective and engaged team. Maybe even better production and retention.


How easy would it be for you to focus some of your regular one-on-one meetings solely on career progress and professional development? My experience is; focusing on the career development of individual team members is very impactful.

The three areas I address during career discussions:

  • What is the long-term vision for your career?
  • What got you to this point?
  • How do you want your current position to contribute to your long-term vision?

Let’s look at these conversations.

Long-term Career Vision

Begin with the end. Every individual has a vision of where they would like to end up. Supervisor, team leader, VP, Executive VP, Executive Director of a nonprofit, or a business owner. Think about the vision of your career destination. Is it important? If it is for you, it is also important for your team members. Taking time to hear an individual’s vision is very respectful and appreciated. Additionally, it provides unique insight into each individual.

What Got You Here?

Hearing the journey one took to arrive at their current career place is enlightening. It reveals trends, defining moments, and values, which reveal motivations and attitudes. Everyone is continually working to fulfill their values. Think of your story – what does it reveal about you?

Active Development

Do you have anyone actively developing you for your next step in your career journey? Yes- what is the impact on you and your performance? No – what is the impact on you and your performance?

As leaders, we have the ability to assign tasks, positions, and training for each team member. What if you could assign the annual budget and audit process for your team to a member who shared her vision to transfer to finance and be a CFO? Assign program tracking and reporting to an individual focused on being a program manager? These conversations reveal hidden win-win opportunities.

Taking the time to truly know and understand the career journey of each individual is a gift to you, the team member, and the team. You know where they ultimately want to go, the motivations that got them where they are today, and finally how you can positively contribute to their current career chapter.

What if someone did this for you?