Accomplishments will prove to be a journey, not a destination.
—Dwight D. Eisenhower1
Most people want a sense of purpose to their lives—including the time they spend at work. That's why it's so important that managers connect individual employee goals to the organization's mission in order to establish a greater sense of accountability among employees who then feel that they aren't just completing tasks but are setting the company up for future success. But employees want to see that the company is interested in their future success as well. After all, if an employee is just punching a clock every day, there's nothing to compel him or her to stay if another opportunity comes along that offers even slightly more money (or other perks).
Enter career development: the secret weapon in every smart manager's toolkit that creates a bond between the company and the manager's direct reports. Employees who see that they have a path to increase their skill sets and move up within an organization are more likely to stay because they can visualize themselves there in the long term. As a manager, you want each employee to feel that his or her position is more than just a job—and that the company is a family in which everyone pulls together to accomplish great things.
Earlier generations haven't always prioritized career planning. Baby Boomers, for example, were raised to believe that they'd stay with the same company for their ...