Do you know your path for professional growth? Do your employees? Probably not. Our 2014 Employee Engagement & Organizational Culture Report showed that only 34% of all employees saw strong opportunities for professional growth.
Here’s the thing. This doesn’t mean there are no paths for growth. Rather, employees just don’t know what they are. But since our findings show that 20% of all employees would leave their job for new opportunities, we have to take notice and act.
Creating an employee growth plan doesn't have to be overwhelming. You can use a simple template that will suit all sorts of industries and sectors.
Consider the example below which shows the first few promotion paths for someone in a brand management track:
You’ll notice a few things you’ll want to keep in mind when building out a career path:
Select a particular track: In the example above, we went with brand management. This makes it easy to see the opportunities that lie ahead. Employees may shift tracks, and may shift departments. That’s okay. A new path will now apply to them.
List general roles in that track: Start from the most junior role and then go up. Don’t stop until you hit President or VP. You never know how far that junior employee will rise.
Assess timing: How long should an employee expect to be in that role? Junior roles will require less time. Senior roles more time.
Consider projects in that role: What projects and responsibilities will an employee expect to take on?
Skills developed: Your employees want to see that they will keep learning new skills if they stick around. They can be hard skills or soft skills. List them all out.
Management opportunity: Is this an independent contributor or manager role? Is there a cross-functional leadership opportunity or not? Be upfront about this. Many people want to manage a team, and they want to know when that will happen.
Training and education needed: Some promotions require an additional degree like an MBA or certifications. Be clear about this upfront so employees know what they need to gear up for to hit the next rung on the ladder.
Once you have this mapped out, share it. Use it with employees on their first day so they know what lies ahead. And use it in your 1:1 meetings to address how they’re progressing in their role.
Remember, benchmarks like these aren’t a replacement for active conversation. Instead they are are a springboard for it.
And benchmarks like these aren’t set in stone. They are guidelines to help map career paths. Some employees may excel and hit milestones faster. Others might need more guidance before progressing. Having these guidelines just helps set the stage for better conversations.