• Why Employers Should Promote from Within



    Nothing is worse than feeling like you’re stuck in a dead-end job. Eventually you start to see the warning signs add up. Your ideas are consistently ignored. You don’t feel valued. There’s no clear career pathway to advance, learn or grow.

    Sadly, millions of workers feel this way every year, leading them to burn out and quit their jobs.

    Pew Research found that 63 percent of employees who left their jobs in 2021 cited “lack of career advancement” as a primary reason. Employees who don’t see a clear progression from their current role to a better position ultimately turn to opportunities outside of their organization.

    Employee retention correlates to upward mobility

    Studies have shown that employers who don’t offer advancement opportunities for workers find difficulty in both hiring and retaining talent—not to mention in maintaining a happy staff and positive work culture. In a recent SocialTalent survey, the majority of HR leaders indicated “career growth opportunity” as the key motivation for employee engagement and retention.

    Advancement opportunities are especially important to hourly and low-wage workers. According to study by WorkStep, frontline workers highly prioritize their career growth. However, upward mobility is becoming harder to achieve as the US economy faces decades of rising inequality, stagnating wages and a shrinking middle class. As a result, this essential segment of the workforce tends to see more burnout and higher turnover.

    In response, many organizations have made retention a core strategy, particularly since the start of the Great Resignation. Most business leaders recognize the strong correlation between the upward mobility of workers and their organization’s business goals (see graph below). It makes both financial and operational sense to retain employees rather than replace them, and employees with higher seniority tend to be more experienced and productive.

    Employers rate perceived impact of upward mobility practices on the company’s competitiveness

    Source: “Upward Mobility Survey of Employers of Low-Wage Workers in the U.S.,” September–November 2020, Project on Managing the Future of Work, Harvard Business School.

    But while most business leaders understand the importance of promoting from within, many fall short of their set goals. Those who do succeed tend to prioritize employee advancement by implementing meaningful programs, educational opportunities, clear career pathways and specific internal goals (for example, 60% of managers will be promoted from within).

    Ways to prioritize employee advancement

    Employers need to be able to show their workers the long game right from the beginning. This means mapping out what careers could look like for new employees and then providing the framework to keep them learning, growing and advancing.

    Below are several best practices that top organizations follow to help their workers navigate internal career pathways:

    1. Clearly document career advancement pathways

    Develop clear information about pathways to advancement within the organization. Human resources can look for measures and controls for career advancement and then develop documentation with standards that are fair and transparent. Criteria used to assess employee promotion to the next level should be easily accessible to staff at all levels.

    2. Prioritize and communicate internal advancement

    Prioritize promotion from within by clearly communicating the availability of advancement pathways and new job opportunities. Supervisors can also reach out directly to workers who may be targeted for promotion or be a good fit for a specific position. Overall, employees should be well-informed and fully aware of the advancement options open to them.

    3. Provide training and education benefits programs

    Educational program curricula should make clear the connection between training and the company’s internal career advancement pathways. Workers should know what to expect after completing the training (for example, how the training is linked to a raise or a promotion). This not only helps the employee; employers can significantly lower costs of recruiting and gain positive long-term outcomes by upskilling their workforce.

    4. Employ staff whose specific function is to support career advancement

    Supportive supervisors play an important role in encouraging advancement within an organization. However, many companies have found that employing additional staff dedicated to helping workers achieve their career goals can be far more beneficial. A point person, such as a career navigator or mentor, can focus solely on assisting workers to determine what training is most appropriate for their career goals. They can also help to find funding (whether employer contribution, loans or grants) to pay for that training.

    The American Dream is tied to the idea of upward mobility, no matter where you started in life. Millions of workers are still seeking this dream, even as it becomes harder for many to achieve. As a result, organizations that prioritize employee advancement will continue to see higher retention and more productivity.

    At Accelerated Pathways, we help organizations identify and launch innovative career pathing and educational programs to advance their employees and prepare for the future of work. Ready to offer your workforce more opportunities to learn and grow? Learn about our programs.

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  • Is Online College Better for Students with ADHD?



    If you’ve ever been diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), you know how difficult it can be to experience learning, organizational and social challenges at school.

    You may even think twice about wanting to go to college. Perhaps you feel like you’re too distracted or disorganized to succeed? Or maybe you’ve attended a college campus and felt out of place?

    If so, online college may be a better fit for you than a traditional college campus.

    Here’s why.

    Traditional college has more limitations and distractions

    At a traditional college, students are expected to spend time on campus and attend in-person classes. This means conforming to specific rules, schedules and even behaviors. Many students with ADHD struggle to learn in this type of environment. Being placed in a confined classroom with fellow peers can lead to distractions and disturbances that make it difficult to focus on the teacher and lesson.

    Delivery of the learning material during in-person lectures may also become too tedious, monotonous or academic to hold shorter attention spans. Prerequisite college courses are frequently held in large impersonal study halls and span several hours. If a student misses a crucial portion of the lesson or needs a break, they can’t just pause or repeat that part of the lecture.

    Those with attention disorders may feel like they’re both distracted and a distraction in this type of learning environment, especially if classroom participation is required as part of the grade. It can be discouraging to see fellow peers functioning well and being able to pay attention, meet assignment deadlines and interact in the ways expected. Students with ADHD may end up feeling estranged and anxious, which can spiral into poor performance—both in and out of the classroom.

    Online college has more learning options and flexibility

    Luckily, there are other college options available thanks to the growing popularity of virtual learning. While online learning doesn’t change what you learn, it does change how you learn—which can make all the difference. Students with ADHD frequently find that online colleges provide more flexibility and personalized learning options to help them succeed.

    According to Ryan Kellems, professor of counseling psychology and special education, “Online learning offers students more control over their environment.” Students with ADHD can take online courses in whatever setting works best for them, such as a quiet café, a library or even their own living room. Being able to choose a location that feels free of distractions and confinement can make a real difference in how learning material is received and processed.

    In addition, students can access their course materials anytime. This allows them to go back over content they may have previously missed and try out helpful study methods like the Pomodoro Technique, which recommends studying in short segments and then taking breaks. Online learning gives students the chance to figure out which study skills and learning times work best for them. For example, those who find themselves able to focus in the evenings can choose to work on difficult school material later in the day.

    Some online colleges also offer self-paced courses, which allow tests, quizzes and assignments to be completed on the student’s time rather than a strict schedule. Having the option to set your own pace can alleviate the pressure associated with deadlines and empower students to strive for quality in their assignments. Many students with ADHD also feel more comfortable interacting with their teachers in an online setting and asking the questions they may have been too intimidated to ask in a traditional classroom.

    Creating a college plan for students with ADHD

    With so many college options available now, students with ADHD have more opportunities than ever to find the right college experience. Before diving in, it’s important to devise a good college plan. That starts with deciding on the academic and social settings that best fit your particular needs.

    If you find that the structure of a traditional college campus helps you to learn and focus, then be sure to reach out to the counselors at your target campus to figure out what resources they offer students with ADHD. If you find that online college provides you with the flexibility you need to feel less overwhelmed, then look for ways to create a balanced, organized study routine that you can maintain long-term.

    At Accelerated Pathways, we’re great at helping students with ADHD find the right learning path. Our academic counselors and student coaches check in regularly to keep you on track and deliver the resources you need to handle your course load. Ready to get the support you need and have the freedom to study anytime, anywhere? Reach out to us today!

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