Career Pathing Attracts and Retains Employees: Here’s Why

by Heather Carbray

Finding great talent can sometimes be difficult. So, when you hire the right people, retaining them is essential to any company’s long-term success. However, this isn’t always easy. With a highly competitive marketplace, what can you do to discourage your team members from seeking employment opportunities elsewhere?

Benefits, perks, etc. may attract amazing talent, but these things might not be enough to keep employees long-term. It is increasingly important, especially for the younger workforce, for employees to understand their future opportunities within an organization. Whether it be laterally, cross-departmental, or opportunities for a promotion, setting a clear roadmap for advancement is crucial in obtaining and retaining talent. A great way to help a team member envision himself or herself growing within your company and remaining a loyal employee is to provide a clear career path.

Paving the Path

Career pathing charts a clear course of how employees can move and evolve within your company. It outlines what knowledge gain, additional skills, and experience someone needs to progress within an organization.

One way of doing this is to create levels for specific roles. A graphic designer, for instance, may have a junior and a senior level. What other skills, education, and level of experience does a junior designer need to become a senior designer? Things like new software knowledge, specific classes or seminars, and even length of employment can all be considerations for advancement from one level to the next.

New skills and experience are not the only things to build a career path around. Your team members may have other talents that have not been tapped into yet. Discovering what additional skills or disciplines your staff has that are not yet utilized by the company can pave a new path for someone. When a hiring need arises, instead of automatically looking for someone from outside the organization, evaluate your current staff and advertise the opportunity internally. You may be surprised who has the skills and interest within your organization to fulfill and excel in a particular role.

Whatever criteria you set should be clearly defined, so that everyone can easily understand their options. Using distinct job titles that coincide with the requirements will help make the paths clearer. Whether it’s moving from a junior to senior role, from a manager to a director role, or moving from one discipline to another, there should be a clear, written, and accessible process on how to get there. Once these paths are in place, tying salary ranges to positions takes the guessing out of what compensation looks like as someone moves through the company.

Don’t Make A Promise You Can’t Keep

While setting career paths is important to obtaining and retaining great employees, be careful not to promise something you cannot deliver on. It should be clear that these roles and opportunities can be available, but when or how quickly depends on the needs of the company. Make sure this is outlined when rolling out the roadmap to your team, so there is no confusion or a future misunderstanding.

Career pathing is a great way to show employees their future within your organization. It is important for people to be able to grow within a company, and providing them with the knowledge of how to do that will discourage top talent from looking for opportunities elsewhere. Just remember to communicate clearly on timing to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Need help paving a path for your employees? Let us know