Employee Engagement

Essential Tips for Managing Employees Who Don't Aspire to Be Leaders

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For some employees, working toward a promotion or leadership position is a natural transition in their careers. Yet some individuals just aren't interested in climbing the corporate ladder.

According to a new CareerBuilder survey, only one-third of the American workers surveyed aspire to become leaders. Additionally, only 7 percent said they seek C-level management roles.

Employers should, however, continue to develop these employees and provide them incentives, regardless of their career goals.

Employee engagement is essential at all levels of an organization. Here are some ideas for managing those who don't aspire to become leaders and keeping them engaged and happy at work:

Related: 6 Things Effective Leaders Should Do to Inspire Their Teams

1. Provide professional-development options.

When professional-development opportunities are offered by an employer, employees may become more engaged while involved in something not requiring their active pursuit of a leadership role.

And employers can do a number of things, I believe, to develop their employees’ skills. They can pay for memberships in a professional organization, host skills-development workshops or send staffers to industry conferences. In these ways employees can keep their skills up-to-date.

2. Give the option of shifting departments.

I recommend that if an employee wishes to gain more experience but not through taking a leadership role, move him to another department where his skills and experience will be tapped in a different way.

For example, say an associate at a public relations agency wants more experience but isn’t ready to take on a higher position. Give her the opportunity to work with different clients to broaden her experience and skills.

3. Provide ongoing training.

According to the CareerBuilder survey, more than half of the employees surveyed don’t seek leadership positions because they are content with their current roles. Ongoing training, I believe, will help such employees learn how to become more productive and perform better at their jobs.

A recruiter in an HR department might be perfectly happy in her position but wish to expand her range of skills. Train her in the latest HR technologies and teach her to use big data to recruit the best candidates.

Related: Employees Yearn to Learn. Here's What Employers Can Do to Help.

4. Help employees advance their education.

Nearly 20 percent of the employees surveyed by CareerBuilder said they avoid climbing the corporate ladder because they think they don’t have the necessary education to advance.

Employers should help out those employees who wish to seek more education, I believe. Although not all employers or entrepreneurs can afford to fully fund staff education, they can ease the way. Employers can create some sort of tuition-reimbursement program or pay for an online class.

5. Offer competitive perks and bonuses.

Although employees may decide to not seek a promotion, this doesn't necessarily mean that they will stop going above and beyond at work, I believe. Reward dedicated and productive employees by offering monthly bonuses, recognition in the workplace or additional vacation time. This will lead to employees feeling like their work and dedication are truly valued.

How do you keep employees who don’t seek leadership roles engaged at work?

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