Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Upward Mobility Key to Keeping Employees around and Engaged Promoting

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Upward Mobility Key to Keeping Employees around and Engaged Promoting

Article excerpt

The ability to advance from entry-level positions to more challenging, higher-paying roles is often important to employees. But promotions can be complicated.

Sometimes companies have internal candidates who could take on more responsibility, but no open positions. Other times, they might have to strike a balance between a new person with lots of potential and a consistent employee who has performed reliably for years.

Companies realize that workers who feel trapped may not stay. A 2013 survey done for recruitment firm Accounting Principals found 26 percent of employees leave their companies because they don't have career development opportunities.

Among Pittsburgh-area companies that were voted into the Post- Gazette's Top Workplaces list this year, a number of employees made a point of citing how impressed they were with the career mobility they felt their companies offered.

An employee at EQT noted on the survey that the Downtown oil and gas producer gives its employees the opportunity for success and "does not use age and years in the work field to promote." For the young, motivated professional, that sounds encouraging.

"There is nothing in this company to hold an employee back. The beauty of that is that an employee's success is not up to management. It's up to the individual," said Natalie Cox, corporate director of communications at EQT.

Charlene Petrelli, EQT's chief human resources officer, said that to be hired, all employees had to illustrate the ability to do their job effectively. Beyond that, the company relies on what the staff calls their "leadership competency model."

The model describes ideal traits. "The most important leadership competency, though we don't actually rank them, is 'achieves results,' " Ms. Petrelli said.

There are six leadership competencies in the model, including a new one this year for innovation.

"Innovation, more than an annual goal, it's an ongoing leadership competency because whatever your level, whatever your job, we're expecting you to use new and innovative ideas in everything you do," Ms. Petrelli said.

Leaving the door open for new ideas is key to keeping employees feeling challenged, even when an on-paper promotion might not be involved. …

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