Opportunities for growth in a job are almost equally important as salary to employees, according to a Walters People survey. That means if you want to keep your best employees, you need to provide them with an employee growth trajectory that utilizes their skills and talents, and continues to challenge them.

If you want to attract and retain top talent, you have to invest in employee development. – Chad Halvorson

Luckily, Google’s Re:Work has put together a list of questions to go over with your best performers, in order to help you plan that growth trajectory based on input from your employees and company opportunities.

This guide will help managers have structured career conversations with their team members as they find out what an employee wants from the role, where they are now, and how to bridge that gap.

Get the employee growth trajectory tool here (as a PDF or shared Google Doc).

Below is a list of the questions from the tool, broken down into 4 sections; goals, reality, options, and execution (will). Run through these questions with your team members to get a clear, honest picture about where your team members want to be.

Goal: What do you want? Establish what the team member really wants to achieve with their career.

  • Where do you see yourself in one, five, and ten years?
  • If money or your current skills weren’t an issue, what would be your dream role?
  • What are your interests, values, and motivations?

Reality: What’s happening now? Establish the team member’s understanding of their current role and skills.

  • What are the most rewarding or frustrating aspects of your current role?
  • Do you feel challenged or stretched in your current role? What would make it more challenging? What isn’t challenging you?
  • What feedback have you received from other people on your strengths and weaknesses?

Options: What could you do? Generate multiple options for closing the gap from goal to reality.

  • What can you do right now to further develop skills that would be useful in reaching that goal we talked about earlier?
  • What stretch assignments, big projects, or experiences could you pursue?
  • What networking or mentorship options are there?

Will: What will you do? Identify achievable steps to move from reality to goal.

  • What will you do? By when?
  • What resources would be useful? What skills will help you get there?
  • What advocacy would help? How can I or our team leader provide more support towards your development?

How have you planned employee growth in your company? What questions were most valuable to go over? Share in the comments below.

About the Author: Jocelyn Pick