“Moving Up” The Ladder

We are currently in the midst of hiring for a new position within our organization. I’ve already written about the importance of hiring people for the right fit – both for culture and aptitude – but lately I’ve been thinking about a different aspect of sustaining a culture of employee engagement, which is hiring employees who will be content in the position they were hired for.

When someone says they’re looking for opportunities to “move up” during the interview process, I don’t usually view this as a positive thing.  While this type of comment may show that the person is ambitious, which could be an asset, it also means they likely won’t be happy in the position for very long.

I’ve typically observed that people who are overly concerned with “moving up” the corporate ladder make it their primary goal – often at the expense of the client’s and the organization’s wellbeing. Furthermore, if every position we have is considered a stepping stone to get somewhere else, we will forever be in the revolving door of hiring new employees.

At ACHIEVE and CTRI, we want to hire for people who will be happy and content with the position we hired them for. Once they are in their new role, we will look for ways to develop their capabilities within that position – just because someone stays within the same position doesn’t mean there aren’t areas for growth.

This issue is particularly relevant for small organizations where there really isn’t a set path of advancement. If the issue of advancement comes up, we’ve found it’s important to start the conversation right away, during the interview process. If a potential hire is asking too many questions about “moving up,” we work to clarify the meaning behind it to determine if they would be a good fit for the position. In addition, if an internal employee expresses the need for advancement, sometimes what they really need is a change in the work they are doing. Having open and transparent conversations about this is key for a healthy culture of employee engagement.

Randy Grieser, Author & Speaker

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