As a featured blogger on Smallville, I am honoured to share career advice and guidance to all small business owners focused on continued business growth. Here is my latest article:


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employee engagement,, smallville, jane jackson, author, writer, career coach, sydney, australia

As a career coach, I work with professionals who wish to manage their careers more effectively. Some would like to figure out how to progress in their current roles, others feel frustrated with where they’re at either because of misalignment with their manager or their team members, and others are ready for a new challenge yet they don’t know how to identify satisfying opportunities within their organisation. Some are so demotivated, they have had enough and are ready to leave.

I often wonder why it is that in some organisations many employees are not given the regular support and encouragement to measure how effective they are in their roles. As a result, there is the danger that these employees may feel undervalued, unrecognised or unappreciated and therefore be less engaged and productive than they could be.

“When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.” – Simon Sinek

PwC recently released their report, Talent Mobility 2020 and Beyond and this report emphasised that the business world is in the midst of fundamental change. In the next decade, the ability of organisations to manage their global talent efficiently will mark the difference between success and failure.

The report also acknowledged that we’re facing the world where the best and brightest talent is prepared to follow their own agenda and opportunities, wherever they may be and irrespective of who is offering them.

According to the Talent Mobility 2020 report, CEOs have a new focus on retaining the best: two‑thirds say that it’s more likely that talent in their organisation will come from internal promotions in the future. With this in mind, businesses must help professionals plan for career development in their current organisation. And individuals must take ownership of their careers and identify the areas where they can enhance, develop or progress in their careers.

Typically, performance reviews focus on past results and outcomes, however, there now is a need for business leaders to engage in regular, more informal and yet meaningful career conversations with their team members.

Unfortunately, there appears to be a reluctance by some senior managers to engage regularly with team members in career conversations that will support them to develop realistic career objectives with a reasonable timeframe.

What is it that causes this reluctance? In my opinion, I believe this is due to a number of factors which may include a lack of open communication or miscommunication due to time constraints or discomfort about having the discussion, misalignment of expectations between manager and team member, personal sensitivities, and uncertainty about the direction of the business.

“Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person – not just an employee – are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.” – Anne M. Mulcahy

In business, the only constant is change. Employees need to be given the opportunity to develop resilience and self-reliance and take control of their career paths. They need to assess what really makes them tick, identify the personal and career values that drive them, understand their transferable skills and knowledge plus be able to articulate their tangible accomplishments over time.

This can be assisted by open career conversations or through more formal training programs with a qualified career professional. With support, each professional will be able to develop a realistic career strategy that will tie in with the company’s future direction and be a win-win for both them and for the business.

The benefit of empowering employees to take control of their career journeys is that they will have a greater sense of ownership of their career direction, which in turn will provide higher engagement levels, greater productivity and a happier workforce.

Do you want to know how career development coaching or group career development workshops will be of benefit to your organisation? For a tailored approach to career management, email me at 


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