What is Career Pathing & Why is it Important?
Updated: Oct 11
Sometimes the grass is greener on the other side because it's Astroturf.
Provide your employees with a clear roadmap of their opportunities at your organization and how they get there.
A survey that Bankrate recently conducted found that 55 percent of American workers have the intention of looking for new employment within the following year. This is not good news for businesses, given that the expense of replacing an employee is a median of 21 percent of the worker's annual income and comes with a lot of additional hassle.
But there is no reason HR professionals need to panic. Implementing engagement tactics such as career pathing strategically can help reduce employee attrition, ensure that your organization or team has the capabilities and resources necessary to tackle the challenges of the future, and even attract new job prospects.
What is Career Pathing?
A career path is a series of positions a person aspires to hold during their organizational tenure. It outlines prospective jobs as well as the skills, knowledge, competencies, experience, and personal traits required for each career level as an individual climbs the corporate ladder.
In a department, entry-level positions typically lead to C-suite positions; however, not all career advancement is vertical. Career paths can be adaptable, permitting staff to move laterally or across functions. A comprehensive framework facilitates employee understanding of their transferrable abilities and fosters internal career moves. Making these moves clear to employees dramatically increases the likelihood an employee will stay with your organization as they grow personally and professionally.
Why is career pathing important?
Well-designed and implemented models of career paths allow individuals to identify internal opportunities based on their interests, preferences, skills, and experience. This will have a favorable effect on the team, human resources, and the firm as a whole. Let’s discuss how career pathing helps the business.
If a person is permitted to pursue career growth within an organization, they are much less likely to leave their current position to pursue opportunities outside the company. Learning and career development provide employees with the opportunity to learn, hone their skills, and attempt new things within the organization.
Employees who are aware of their long-term potential with their current employer are generally more inclined to stay with the organization over the long term. This makes career pathing an effective employee retention technique, as employees are driven by the possibility of advancing their career path and gaining new abilities. It is beneficial for an organization's operational efficiency to have a low employee turnover rate because it requires fewer resources to continually recruit and train new workers.
Employers face significant difficulty in maintaining employee engagement. Gallup's 2015 employee engagement survey revealed that only one-third of US workers were engaged in their jobs. This number has likely increased over the years.
Employees seek more than just a paycheck.
Gallup found that in the future of work, people desire a shift in how they view their roles.
• Rather than a paycheck, they desire a purpose;
• Rather than work contentment, they desire career advancement and development;
• Instead of a supervisor, they desire a coach;
• Rather than an annual performance evaluation, they desire continual mentoring;
Individuals want both professional and personal development opportunities. Employees desire bosses that are concerned with their long-term development and will mentor and coach them so that they can realize their full potential.
This is an excellent opportunity for companies to tap into their employees' aspirations and utilize their desires for the company's benefit. Employers who provide opportunities for learning and growth will have workers who are more committed to their jobs and the company's long-term prospects.
· Maintain a young labor force.
Employees of a younger age are more interested in self-improvement, job advancement, and higher pay than their elder counterparts. Therefore, firms can retain them to continually infuse the team with new ideas, hard work, and inventive tactics for achieving corporate objectives. If their employers treat them fairly, they can pursue transitional interests in a supportive work environment.
· It can assist businesses with succession planning
Succession planning for key roles is always a significant burden for businesses. When such a job becomes available, the company's management and HR departments must typically choose between recruiting an external candidate and promoting an inside candidate. Having career pathing practices in place for its workers can help a business plan for the future by identifying which people are suited for various jobs within the organization. Knowing an employee's abilities and preferences can increase the likelihood that promoted workers are qualified for their new positions.
· Higher return on investment
As was noted, a significant amount of effort, time, and financial resources are spent on acquiring and training new personnel. On the other hand, the longer a person stays with a firm, the more value they bring to the table, which in turn adds to the expansion of the business as a whole. They will be provided with the necessary skills to continue bringing value to their employment.
· Enhanced safety and commitment to the organization
Employees want a stable career path that will last a long time, keep them motivated, and present them with new challenges often. Human resources leaders partner with the employer and the employee to enable them to achieve business goals while maintaining engagement and loyalty. Suppose a company offers unrivaled possibilities for employees to advance their careers. In that case, those employees will prioritize working for that organization over any of its competitors because they want to be successful over the long term and can see a pathway to that reality.
Creating career Paths for Employees
Creating a career path for the first time can be intimidating, but there is no need to feel overwhelmed. The project can be divided into several sections that can be completed in stages, based on available time. Here are a few tips to create career paths for your employees:
· Start with a simple plan of how career paths will be delivered, and what the path plans will entail, gain consensus from key stakeholders, and set up a rough draft. Do you like a spreadsheet or a document with text? What levels and roles do you need to include? Are there different paths for managers and individuals?
· Establish priorities by starting with a single job family, then applying the same strategy to the rest.
· Create a working group for managers. Select individuals who care about the job and appreciate its importance.
· Consider examining compensation information for the positions you're developing. Make sure compensation ranges are clear in pathing so employees can understand the financial impact of promotions etc.
· Identify a mentor or a leader who can serve as a sounding board when you are stuck.
· Start with the pilot, and then make any last changes and tweaks. This keeps the rollout from being delayed by people who want everything to be perfect.
· Figure out early ways to measure success and get feedback from each individual
Once you've implemented your plan, hold a celebration and thank everyone who contributed.
Career Pathing is about laying out a clear roadmap
Turnover is at a high right now- coining the phrase "the great resignation." As HR leaders, we need to make sure our people know we value them and that they can advance their careers right where they are. The grass isn't always greener on the other side- because it's often plastic.
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