Five Ways that Career Pathing Increases Employee Engagement
There are many benefits to offering a career pathing or mapping system to your employees. These solutions provide employees with a fun, interactive way to learn about internal job opportunities, as well as about the qualifications needed to get there. Moreover, the systems encourage employee engagement and mitigate talent flight, giving employees visibility into the needs of the organization and insight into how they can meet them. In addition to these well-known benefits, consider the following ways these systems can encourage employee engagement.
- Promoting self-awareness. Do you really understand your unique set of skills or competencies? Can you talk about the transferrable skills that you’ve built over the years in school, work, volunteerism and your personal life, and how those apply to job requirements? Do you know how to communicate what you like to do on the job? For someone who may not have a good understanding of their skills and talents, career pathing brings them to light and helps them effectively communicate skills and abilities.
- Making performance evaluations less stressful. Career pathing can help turn traditionally uncomfortable and unproductive performance reviews into meaningful, results-driven development discussions that employees (and managers) can actually look forward to. The key is alignment between the two systems. The performance evaluation must surface the same workplace elements (tasks, competencies, soft skills, etc.) relevant to the employee’s role that are seen in the pathing solution. Employees and managers will be able to discuss strengths, weaknesses, goals and action items in light of elements that are relevant to both current and future roles.
- Inspiration for employees who lack direction or feel unmotivated. Visual and intuitive career pathing tools make career exploration fun. Think, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Seuss. The employee inputs interests, skills and education, and from them the system provides realistic and attainable internal career paths. When properly communicated and rolled out to the enterprise, a career pathing system should help employees feel that they have the power to drive their own careers.
- A mechanism for outreach. Good career pathing tools should give an employee visibility into potential opportunities, but it should also provide a plan for how to reach them. With the dots connected, a plan in hand and the vocabulary to talk about action steps and results, the employee can more confidently approach a manager, mentor, career counselor or HR colleague to ask for help. Some career pathing tools even allow the employee to schedule appointments or request a mentor within the platform itself.
- A connection to the organization. Career pathing brings to light the workplace elements (competencies, work activities, interests, values, etc.) that are critical to the roles, functions and departments across the enterprise. If the organization does a good job of keeping these elements front-and-center through performance measurement, development initiatives, team building and goal setting, it helps employees see that what they do on a daily basis is directly tied to the bigger picture. Furthermore, when these same elements are rolled into strategic organizational objectives, including revenue or other goals, employees will feel more connected to the mission and purpose of their employer.