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Development Retention + Mobility

Everything You Need To Know About Career Pathing

By Sarah Beckett on October, 2 2018
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Sarah Beckett

One of the largest shifts in the modern workplace is the transition from straightforward, linear career advancement to much more lateral career movement.

Historically, an employee could expect to steadily rise from a junior to a management position in the same field, department, or organization.

Today, however, employees are focused more than ever on planning and preparing for the future. Instead of being content to wait for their turn to advance in an organization, or even remaining in the same role, employees wish to learn and be able to proactively play a role in their own career development.

One of the primary instigators of turnover is employees having no access to advancement opportunities at their organization, essentially the unavailability of Career Pathing.


What is Career Pathing?

Career Pathing refers to when an employee (in some cases, with the help of management) creates a clear course within an organization, rendering tangible career path and development options.

Employees are now empowered to envisage upward career changes, interdepartmental movement, or even moving into an entirely different department and role.  

Employees must examine their career goals, skills, required knowledge, experience, and behavioral traits with honesty and in detail to receive the most accurate career path. It’s also very important to examine the differences in requirements between progressing vertically or laterally within an organization.


Why Competencies and Career Pathing are a Winning Combination

Incorporating competencies into an organization is simply good business. Defining jobs into essential competencies positively influences the way development programs can be designed and delivered. Upon implementation of competency-based job profiles it becomes clear how to next devise a development process that supports flexible career latticing.

Whereas traditional ladder career paths are hierarchical and unidirectional, competency-based career deliver a wide variety of logical career moves across multiple departments. Employees can clearly view the skills, behaviors, and abilities necessary to make a variety of required career adjustments.

The simple provision of the availability to learn and grow beyond traditional hierarchical pathways is essential to employees remaining challenged and engaged. Competencies and Career Pathing are especially important for organizations wishing to retain millennial workers, who themselves expect to be perpetually challenged.


Want to learn more about employee development? 

Fill out the form below to access our Competency-Based Employee Development Toolkit today!



Why Should You Implement Career Pathing?

Career Paths provide an excellent and proven means to ensure that talent has access to a variety of job options, including higher level positions, lateral moves, or entirely new roles. Employees will now recognize the value in being employed at an organization, as they witness the tangible effort being invested to assist them with their professional development. Mitigate turnover by virtue of happy and motivated employees in alignment with the organization’s goals and culture.

  1. Career Pathing Enhances Commitment and Engagement

Most organizations would like to improve or maintain high levels of employee engagement and retention. When employees see that an organization genuinely investing in their professional growth development, they are far more likely to feel a sense of commitment to their work.

Providing employees with the tools they require to grow their careers within your organization significantly lessens the likelihood of them seeking opportunities elsewhere.

  1. Uncover Hidden Talent and Attract New Talent

By implementing Career Pathing, managers also discover information that they didn’t know about their employees, such as hidden ambitions or skills. Sometimes, an employee can occupy a position that is below their ability; by leveraging Career Pathing and Competencies it is an easy task to evaluate an employee’s qualifications for a specific job, thus ensuring the best people in each role.

As a result, job seekers are likely to start more hearing positive things about an organization’s exemplary support and development of talent, undoubtedly attracting more qualified employees to successfully fill job and skill gaps an organization.

  1. Improved Succession Planning

Today’s modern world of work is more dynamic than ever, presenting greater challenges within long-term workforce planning. The adoption of Career Pathing will allow an organization to avoid having to hurriedly fill roles with employees who aren’t best-qualified having to deal with a very short learning curve.

Career Pathing provides the information required to assess each employee’s competencies, and to discover how qualified employees are in moving into different roles. Regular dialogue with employees showcases which employees are suited to other roles and which employees have designs on advancement.

The focus on developing these employees exemplifies that the organization is invested in their future, once more enhancing engagement and retention.


How to Get Started With Employee Career Pathing

Those organizations who don’t actively discuss career path and development opportunities with their employees are missing a genuine opportunity to nurture a more engaged, productive and committed workforce. Leveraging regular career development dialogue, engaging and supporting employees, inevitably builds trust among staff.

So how is career pathing addressed with employees? It’s important to start the process by asking staff about their objectives to develop a clear understanding of their career goals. By implementing competencies, educate employees as to what they require to achieve their professional goals.

Career path dialogue should be regular and not be limited to an employee’s annual performance review. Ongoing dialogue is essential in making sure all staff are both productive and engaged.

For managers, it is important to share the personal findings of their own career path development and appreciate that not every employee will take the same route. Focus conversations on employees, work together to find solutions, share resources, and empower employees to take the initiative in delivering their development plans.


Our Career Pathing Solutions

CompetencyCore™ Career Path Navigation provides employees with the roadmap they need to navigate an organization’s advancement opportunities.

It allows you to:

  • Establish jobs in a hierarchy, empowering employees to explore the various lateral and linear movements required to obtain their dream job.
  • Increase the value of employee outreach programs by providing employees with actionable career paths.
  • Provide employees with an articulate visual overview of advancement possibilities in an organization.
  • Build out succession plans and hold meaningful dialogue with employees based upon their chosen career path.


Learn More About Career Pathing: 


Post last updated: January 7, 2021