How to talk to your employees about career pathing

May 1, 2018 Caitlin Leishman

Today employees are more focused than ever on planning and preparing for the future. Instead of being content to wait their turn to move up in an organization, or stay in the same role, employees want to learn more and be proactive about developing their careers. Even though most employees want to have more in-depth discussions about their career paths, a study from Robert Half Finance & Accounting revealed that 40% of employees didn’t have the opportunity to do so with their manager.

Employers who aren’t discussing career paths and development opportunities with their employees are missing key opportunities to create a more engaged workforce and cut down on turnover. By conducting regular conversations about career development activities and options, you will build trust among staff by showing that you are engaged and supportive.

Career pathing is an advanced form of career development that allows employees to imagine upward career changes, interdepartmental, even moving into an entirely different department and role. When combined with competencies, they become even more effective at allowing employees to chart a course for success. Since competencies are the skills, behaviors, and abilities needed for success in a particular job, you can assess what competencies you have and which you need to develop further to move into a desired position. Learning resources targeted to specific competencies help pave the way for a successful transition.

So how do you talk to employees about their career pathing options? It’s important to start by asking your staff about their objectives, so you can have a clear understanding of where they want to go in their careers. By using competencies, you can then educate them on what they will need to achieve their goals, and you can either manually or use software to lay out a specific career path to help them achieve success. Don’t forget that career path conversations shouldn’t be limited to an employee’s annual performance review. Having ongoing conversations is essential to making sure everyone is on track and engaged.

As a manager, it is important to share what you learned as you developed your own career path but be open to the fact that not everyone is going to take the same route. Focus conversations on your employees, and work together to find solutions, share resources, and allow your employee to take initiative when following through with development plans.

To learn more about career pathing and how competencies can help you build a more engaged and high performing workforce, contact us today.

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Encourage your employees to develop their careers
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