career pathing

Now, more than ever, employee engagement has proven to be the key to keep a healthy workforce. However, employee engagement is easily plotted on paper but can be very difficult to carry out in actual practice. Studies have shown that six out of nine employees are not motivated and continue to be disengaged in the workplace and in the line of work they find themselves in. To combat this prevalent issue, a technique called career pathing is seen to turn the figures around.

What Is Career Pathing?

This relatively new approach to employee engagement, known as career pathing, is the process by which an employee undertakes to map out or design a career development course for him to take within the organization. By allowing the employee to discover opportunities for advancement, which can either be laterally or vertically, the employee will be able to formulate a route for his progress. Each employee’s skills, competencies (both in the professional field as well on a personal level are considered), and experiences are considered to assess the employee’s fitness to take on the new roles in accordance with the career path chosen.

This is hinged on the premise of an interdependent connection between the organization and its employees. In that, a fulfilled and motivated employee will be able to have success in himself and for the organization.

Employee Retention

The workforce is mostly populated by the younger generation, who are driven by more than just the paychecks or the other monetary perks that come with having a job or an occupation. These workers desire a more holistic fulfillment that affects their careers and can transcend all aspects of their lives. They also aspire for a more rounded approach to enriching themselves. They do not wish to be boxed up and classified according to traditional means such as educational attainment.

This generation of workers is blurring the lines of the traditional office setup in that they prefer to work with their strengths. In the present corporate set up, if the workers feel that a company is falling short of his expectations in terms of professional growth or that the company is not able to address concerns pertaining to the projection of the career of the employee, they will not hesitate to leave that company and seek other opportunities more favorable to them. Studies have shown that the two most common reasons for an employee to sever his employment are lack of career growth opportunities or that the job does not provide satisfaction to the employee.

With career pathing, both these concerns are addressed. If done right, an effective career pathing program will be able to provide a distinct and unique awareness into any gaps that may be present between the employee’s skill set and his present job placement. Further, the career pathing program will be able to address these gaps and introduce possible solutions to bridge these gaps.

This feature of career pathing will offer information as to the various paths available to the employee and data as to the would-be results of each path for advancement. This will then allow the employees to gauge each opportunity together with all the avenues for growth, learning, and fulfillment. Each pathway will show a clear and readily available map for his growth whether the employee is in an entry-level position or in a management level position in the organization, from entry-level to upper management.

Succession Planning and Longevity

Career pathing will also work for the benefit of the organization. The career path of each employee will be dictated by his capabilities and strengths. Through this, the organization will be able to see which employee shows the most promise and potential. Armed with this information, they can customize the coaching or mentoring approach to achieve the goals set in accordance with the pathways designed. In this manner, the company will provide a more focused tactic and not give out generic seminars or training that does not address potential areas for growth.

With this, they will be able to groom and prepare the potential successors. This will make transitions as smooth as possible and close any possible breaks in management should older employees retire. This will ensure the organization’s survival.

Productivity and Profitability

When an employee is disengaged, his productivity will no doubt go down, as well. Undoubtedly, one of the biggest causes of loss in every organization. In the US alone, disengaged employees have cost employers between $450 billion and $610 billion every year.

Using effective career pathing programs have increased employees’ engagement by around 33% for an individual organization. There are even organizations reporting around 70% increase or improvement in their employee engagement. As a result of this increased employee engagement, production, and productivity also increase, and as an end outcome, the organization’s profitability also improves.

The employees become more engaged in their tasks. They are more motivated to not only complete work orders, but they do so with a renewed sense of accomplishment. Attendance rates are increased, customer relations are also on a more positive note, and pilferage of office materials, equipment, and other supplies are also lessened if not completely removed. The employees are also found to develop a sense of responsibility towards ensuring that their success will be achieved. They grow within themselves a feeling of belonging to the organization or company not just as a mere employee but, more importantly, as an integral part of its progress and growth. They become aware of the fact that their actions can greatly affect the operations.

Knowing that they are valued and that their organization is taking steps to hone them and ensure their growth empowers employees. They are more motivated and driven to excel in their respective fields as well as help motivate and push their co-employees to perform as well.

Truly, effective career pathing will be the best armament of any organization to guarantee its success and longevity.

Vinod Janapala is Senior Product Marketing Manager at piHappiness – Customer Feedback App & Survey Software. piHappiness is a top customer feedback software designed to collect customer feedback on Web, iPad & Android tablets. Vinod is keen on such topics as marketing, SaaS challenges, and Personal Growth.

Career pathing stock photo by ra2 studio/Shutterstock