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How to Improve Employee Retention and Company Performance with Career Pathing

Four Steps to Successfully Implement Career Pathing

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Career pathing is a structured, comprehensive development planning process to help employees visualize their career growth within the company. Career pathing is a proven program by which successful transitions of employees can occur. It helps with succession planning, employee engagement, skills attainment and alignment between employee and company objectives.

There are several reasons why companies have not implemented career pathing: Years of traditional employee processes; resistance to changing those processes; fear of employees expecting advancement once they have a career path; belief that these solutions are costly and time-consuming; and expecting implementation will be complex and resource-intensive. In reality, understanding the steps involved in implementing a successful career pathing plan helps ensure a smooth transition for the company, rapid implementation time and immediate as well as long-term ROI.

Here are four key steps to consider when building out a formal career pathing initiative:

Employees are frustrated in their jobs and turnover is at an all-time high. When left unresolved, companies experience major turnover and job satisfaction issues. This trend is due in part to companies either placing insufficient emphasis on supporting the professional development of their employees or simply lacking the skills and expertise to do so.

Step 1: Identify the Company’s Career Progression Needs

Simply put, employees want career progression and traditional methods don’t work. Employees are increasingly navigating career lattices where there are multiple routes to desired positions and work opportunities. Companies must consider what motivates employees, how business objectives will align with career pathing, what skills and expertise are required from employees, and how to build the right foundational framework.

Step 2: Implement a Talent Framework

Career pathing requires a sound career framework and the starting point is the job family. The job family is a collection of competency-based job role profiles and includes competencies, education, experiences, credentials and qualifications. A competency-based framework is designed to translate the organization’s strategic business objectives into tangible actions on the part of employees. Perhaps the most important, a career-based competency model changes the dynamics of how employees engage with the company.

Step 3: Set Employees Up for Successful Career Pathing

Profiles of employees’ talents are also important to assess against the job profiles that have been created. This gives insight into how ready an individual is for a specific role and helps determine short-term and longer-term career paths. Companies need to provide tools like career maps and career path builders so employees can visualize their desired roadmap and see the available opportunities. Because employees learn and develop differently, it’s important to enable employees to develop a career plan in a way that is meaningful to them.

Step 4: Communication, Development and Assessment

Employees will have many questions around the initiative. Communication as to how career pathing will take effect and the expectations of employees in the process is necessary to make sure everyone is aligned. Employees and managers will require training to understand how career pathing will change the way job performance and career options are managed within the organization. The organization will also want to maximize its return on investment by putting in place assessments on the effectiveness of the programs and how improvements can be made.


Career pathing provides a way for employees to take ownership of their career development and chart a map for how they will achieve their career goals. For companies, career pathing motivates employees, encourages engagement, reduces turnover and aligns talent requirements with the company’s overall business objectives.

Learn more about our Career Pathing Soultion here!



Resource Box Header How to Improve Employee Retention and Company Performance with Career Pathing
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