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Topic: Leadership

Special Projects:

A Career Development Tool for All

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People come to work for more than just a paycheck.

Employees thrive at work when they can do something great, be part of something bigger, and make a difference that matters. When you choose a place to work, you look for more than just the salary and benefits. What is the organization’s purpose, and am I inspired by it? What is the culture like? Are there opportunities for me to grow and make a difference? The phrase “opportunity at work” often leads us to think about promotions, pay raises, and career development. But true opportunity means more than just climbing the corporate ladder. The chance to grow, learn, make an impact, and create great work are areas of opportunity that employees crave. Opportunity means to tap into an individual’s unique talent, to help them shine.

According to the 2018 Global Culture Study, only 59% of employees worldwide feel positive about the opportunity for growth and development in their organization. While not all organizations can provide career advancement or salary increases, most can provide a simple yet powerful way to build a sense of opportunity: by using special projects.

Special projects highlight an individual’s specific talents and invite them to participate in something new. They help employees learn new skills, grow in their responsibilities, and connect with other employees they don’t normally interact with. In fact, 3 out of 4 employees feel special projects help them grow in ways their day to day jobs cannot. 71% report they connected with people they normally would not have when they worked on a special project.

Inviting employees to participate in a special project also shows you value them and chose them for their unique skills and contributions. The individual is able to make an impact and contribute to the organization in a meaningful way. Special projects engender feelings of success. Research shows when an employee is invited to tackle a problem or take on an initiative with a group of their peers, and that project is outside of their day-to-day duties, they perceive themselves as a successful contributor to the organization.

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