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7 tips for creating a clear career path for your employees

David Bator
by David Bator on June 17, 2016

Do you know how your employees feel about their career path within your organization?Is the grass greener somewhere else for your employees? A recent employee engagement benchmark report surveyed over 20,000 North American employees and revealed that a combined 42% were negative or very negative in response to the question: How much career potential does your job seem to have?

Career advancement is a big part of why individuals leave their current organizations. Southern Alpha reported that approximately 15% of people cite being passed over for a promotion as the reason they seek new jobs. Businesses that develop comprehensive career development programs could find success in maintaining top performers.

We recently conducted the first experiment in social employee engagement, meeting with more than 70 disruptive HR minds to collaboratively solve this problem.

The most straightforward explanation for negative feelings about one's career path may be that employees simply lack clarity about the opportunities available to them, how to advance, and what success looks like. Many employees may also the question, “Why does the work I do matter?” or “How does it help my organization?” It’s incumbent here for managers to articulate the path forward.

That said, if managers themselves don’t know the path to success, it can’t be expected that employees will.

Sometimes a lack of creativity in job design can impact how employees feel about their career path. If it lacks flexibility, it can also play a factor.

Finally, many employees may hold negative perceptions of their career path because they lack clarity about the future of the organization itself. Is it a successful one? 

Here are seven tips for creating a clear career path for your employees:

  1. Highlight success stories of other employees as examples of how they can move through the organization
  2. Give employees exposure to what everyone else in the company does. Maybe another department is a better fit for their skills
  3. Build a grid of the various levels of each position within the organization. Have managers sit down with their employees and find out their goals and which level they would like to get to
  4. Know your internal candidate pool and their goals for success and a path forward. Actually map it out with them
  5. Create an open feedback loop about career and growth at your company and ensure it’s an ongoing conversation that welcomes every voice
  6. Ensure that each person knows their value in the company and how they contribute to its success
  7. Define and openly communicate the company’s objectives and goals so employees are aware of why they show up for work everyday

If you'd like to read the entire eBook that was created at SocialHRCamp, you can read it here.


Want to find out how your employees feel about their career path within your company? Take a look at how Pulse Surveys can help you do that.

Download "When to use continuous Pulse Surveys" 

David Bator
Written by David Bator

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