News that Grant O’Brien will become the new chief executive of Woolworths in six months time has sparked a number of stories about his rise from shelf-stacker to CEO in the last few days.
Like current CEO Michael Luscombe, who has been with the group 33 years, O’Brien has clocked up more than 20 years at the company in a variety of roles.
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That is one benefit that large companies have over small – the ability to progress employees through different ranks and different roles to keep them engaged.
So how can a smaller company create the same career progression when there are only a handful of staff?
Some ideas include:
- Seconding staff to work in clients’ businesses.
- Moving staff into different roles for a short period so they learn that part of the business.
- Putting a rising star in charge of a new division.
- Developing an exchange program with partners or suppliers.
Get creative. There is nothing worse than losing a star performer who leaves to “pursue opportunities” at another company because they feel they’ve hit their ceiling at yours.
Get it done – today.