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Career Progression

Career progression top priority – but what can you offer in “flatter” functions?

Canadian workers are increasingly prioritizing career growth and progression, often above salary and benefits. Some functions have a reputation for flatter career progression, especially in siloed functions such as payroll. Ambitious candidates are turning away from roles such as payroll, that have a reputation for slow or limited career growth.

What can HR do to give employees the career growth they crave?

Anne Marie Petersen, Flickr

Anne Marie Petersen, Flickr

The recent 2016 Hays Payroll Salary Guide, created with the Canadian Payroll Association, finds career progression is employers’ number one retention challenge. We see this again in the answers from payroll workers, half of whom (53%) say they want to reach a management position, and 25% say they aim to reach senior management or C-suite.

The nature of the payroll function can make internal progression more difficult. The function is sometimes siloed, and there are fewer senior roles available. This is driving away top candidates, and companies who are able to offer career growth stand out and can attract the best employees.

Here are a few key ways to offer career progression as an attraction and retention tool.

1. Internal job rotations
The Hays What People Want guide finds that when employees talk about career progression they don’t necessarily mean increasing seniority and salary. Most Canadians are prioritizing variety and learning new skills, not just opportunities for promotion.

If you have the capacity, try rotating employees through different financial or HR roles to keep them engaged and learning new things. This will also give you a more effective team, with better overall understanding of the business.

2. Support training and development
Canadian professionals tell us they consider learning new skills as one of their top priorities.

Offering internal training programs, or financially supporting external courses and certification if a key way to show employees you are invested in their success. If you don’t have the resources to fund study, offer other types of support such as paid time off to study, workload adjustments or mentoring and coaching.

3. Develop a succession plan.
A key finding from the Hays 2016 Salary Guide was that succession planning is no longer a nice to have – it is a business necessity. This is true for all functions including HR and payroll. Over the past three years of developing the payroll salary guide, the proportion of employers with a succession plan has remained flat, around 22 per cent. Introducing a succession plan will not only aid you in long-term business planning, but will give employees clear career path opportunities that will keep then engaged in the role for the long-term.

Learn more about how you can attract and retain top payroll professionals. Request the 2016 Hays Payroll Salary Guide.

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