The “seven common success traps” are the traps I’ve learned about over the course of my career working with clients and collaborators from some of America’s top organizations, including Fortune 50 and Fortune 500 companies. These traps are based on both my personal experience and the stories shared by my clients and collaborators.
These success traps can and do happen to the best of us. They can even destroy massively successful, well-established companies. It behooves us to understand what they are so that we can recognize when we’re in their vicinity and, if we can’t avoid them altogether, at least make it out alive.
That’s why I’ve written a book about these traps and why I’ll be exploring these seven traps on Recruiter.com over the coming months. I hope that my books and articles will help companies overcome these traps — especially now, amid one of the most challenging economic climates we’ve ever seen.
Read the rest of the series:
Imagine a marriage in which neither partner worked on bettering themselves. Let’s say this couple is together for 40 years, going through all the life stages — buying a house, having and raising kids, etc. And all along, neither party puts any effort into developing as a person.
Can you imagine how miserable that marriage would be? Would it even last 40 years?
Which brings me to my next point: Why does the long-term “marriage” of employer and employee often see at least one partner (the employee) not investing in developing themselves?
If we’re not growing and developing on some level, we are either stagnating or actively deteriorating. In the absolute best-case scenario, we will go through life and work on autopilot: disconnected, disengaged, and making minimal impact on our organizations, coworkers, and the people we do business with.
This article will focus on two key factors that fuel this success trap and offer advice on what organizations can do differently.
If You Don’t Develop Your Employees, Who Will?
The first factor driving employee stagnation is pretty straightforward: Even the best companies often fall very short when it comes to long-term training and development of their staff.
I’ve had the opportunity to work for Fortune 500 companies, and most of these companies indeed have a strong, structured training program for new hires. More often than not, the issue is that the ball is totally dropped after this initial training. It’s like someone putting all their effort into impressing a potential romantic partner — and then, once the couple is together, they completely neglect their significant other.
Some of these organizations talk a very good game about the importance of training and development, but they don’t always follow through with their actions. In my own professional experience at these companies (and working with clients who work for these companies), it has been very apparent that many organizations treat employee development as a simple check-the-box activity. Meanwhile, staff members find it difficult, if not impossible, to develop in the ways they want to. Heaven forbid the company actually provides effective coaching to help employees clarify and pursue their own professional goals!
Anyone who thinks their employees’ needs, desires, and goals won’t change from the time they were hired is living under some giant rock of delusion — or, more likely, they just haven’t consciously thought about it. And, really, why would you even want employees on staff who weren’t dedicated to continuously growing in their lives and careers?
I know it sounds very much like common sense, but take an honest look at your organization. Does it really support long-term employee development? Or is training only offered when the organization needs it, employee goals be darned? Let this be your wake-up call….