Mapping out career paths

By Lindsay LaNore

Given today’s competitive labor market and rising employee expectations, finding the right talent for your bank can be challenging. So, why not look internally and focus on the human capital that you already have?

Bank profitability is robust right now, which means budgets are less likely to be roadblocks to talent development. There may never be a better time to get executive buy-in. In fact, according to the 2019 Workplace Learning & Development Report from LinkedIn, 82% of HR and talent development professionals said their executives actively support employee engagement through professional learning.

What drives employees to leave an employer isn’t always money. Many employees today are looking to grow their skill set. Creating a culture of internal mobility, where leaders encourage their teams to develop skills for their next roles, is great for morale and bank success. One way of doing this is through personalized career paths.

Start with a discussion between the employee, their supervisor and/or HR. Make these discussions part of your bank’s talent management process two to three times per year. To ensure your bank’s growth and productivity, talent management should be part of board meetings.

During these discussions, employees and employers should document career goals for both the employee and the bank. An employee’s experience, education, personality type, strengths and aptitudes will influence both short- and long-term career goals, as will their interests and work-life balance preferences. Consider asking your employees, “What can we do to make this your dream job?”

A likely outcome is a determination that additional professional development is needed. With rapid technological innovation, skills have a shorter shelf life, so identifying skills gaps is critical. LinkedIn says creativity is the single most in-demand skill, and that needs to be cultivated.

Allow employees to work on projects outside of their roles to determine their interests and skill levels. Each year, try giving them a goal, which they could work on with a group. Three-quarters of survey respondents in the LinkedIn report said they’d take a course if it was suggested by their manager. So, consider requiring supervisors to be proactive in talent management.

Career mapping is a win for everyone and can have a big impact on engaging and retaining employees and leadership diversity. In other words, banks can benefit from giving employees opportunities for growth.

Build skills with Community Banker University

If your community bank uses ICBA’s Online Training Center, review available courses at least once a year and recommend one or two to your direct reports. The library includes courses on both technical and soft skills, such as change management and problem-solving.

Lindsay LaNore ([email protected]) is ICBA group executive vice president and chief learning and experience officer