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Combat the Great Reshuffle: The Benefits of Career Pathing for Companies and Employees

Keeping good employees for the long term is a struggle for nearly every organization as the Great Resignation rages on. Increasingly, if an employee’s needs aren’t being met where they currently work, they feel more empowered to search for a company where they will be fulfilled.

One important indicator of employee satisfaction is the potential for advancement. According to a Glassdoor study, 73 percent of employees change employers to get ahead in their careers, while only 27 percent of employees stay with their current employer for their next role.

Career Pathing

Organizations have several options for creating internal growth potential for their employees. Career pathing—or the process of creating a career development roadmap for an employee, based on their long-term goals, interests, and skills—identifies where an employee wants to go and the potential stops along the way that will help them get there, including positions held and skills gained.

How Does Career Pathing Help Companies?

In a competitive labor market, career pathing can improve talent retention because employees can see future opportunities. Career pathing can also help attract new hires who are looking for an organization where they can develop and grow. Employees rank career advancement opportunities higher than compensation and organizational stability in terms of what companies can do to engage them, according to
IBM research.

Companies also have a better understanding of their own internal talent strengths and gaps through career pathing, allowing them to be more effective in getting the right people into the right positions within their talent pipeline. Career pathing works hand in hand with internal recruiting, which offers organizations distinct advantages in preserving institutional knowledge proving the worth of employee training. Review templates or examples of career pathing to help build your organization’s internal process.

Career Pathing Benefits for Employees

Career pathing offers employees a clear view of where they can go in their career, building strong motivation to learn, develop, and work hard to reach their goals. For many roles, career pathing helps employees keep their long-term goals in mind so they don’t get lost in the day-to-day routine.

When a company takes the time to offer an employee individual career help, employees are more likely to feel their company is invested in them and more likely to feel invested in the company in return.

Three Tips for Implementing Career Pathing

Here are a few tips for how to start career pathing at your organization.

1. Drive Process From the Top Down
Managers should know their direct reports’ strengths, skills, and personality better than anyone else in the organization. They should work closely with their employees to develop an individualized career path. Driving the process includes regularly checking in with reports on progress and revisiting career path discussions in performance reviews.

2. Include Flexibility
Managers and employees shouldn’t be afraid to think outside of the box when it comes to career pathing. It’s not always a vertical ladder going from position to position. A career path can look more like a lattice, with an employee moving laterally, cross-functionally, or more deeply into specialization throughout their career. And the career path certainly doesn’t have to be fixed; it should evolve over time along with the employee’s needs and interests.

3. Enhance With Mentoring
Once employees know where they want to go, mentoring can be a huge help in enabling them to get there. Mentoring offers employees the opportunity to seek guidance and benefit from the experience of their mentors. This individual attention, advice, and motivation can help keep employees on track along their career path.

Employees don’t move from workplace to workplace for the sake of it. They are seeking a better experience that will get them where they want to go in their career and life. Career pathing is a key tool that can help employees understand they don’t need to leave a company to get ahead. All the possibilities exist right where they are.

Read More: Combat the Great Reshuffle: The Benefits of Career Pathing for Companies and Employees

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