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Business Guide to Career Pathing and Why It Matters

by Julie Miles / June 19, 2024

Employee engagement hinges on employees investing professionally in the work they do. This is not just about work quality or meeting quarterly goals. Every job also plays a part in a professional’s overall career. Few people plan to stay in the same role forever. They want to learn new skills and advance to achieve higher levels of authority, income, and meaningful accomplishments.

Therefore, career pathing is a key element to attracting and retaining great talent. Each professional is on their own career journey, whether that journey can continue within your company is something the company can devise through career pathing as an employee engagement strategy.


What is Career Pathing

Career pathing is the the development of a professional path forward. For individuals, career pathing is a way professionals can chart a path from their current position to their ideal role. When implemented by businesses, career pathing involves creating paths that employees can engage in to achieve professional development and advancement.

Career pathing is the perfect tool for both organizations and individuals to strategize, reflect on progress, establish objectives, and discover new opportunities.


The Benefits of Career Pathing for Businesses

Businesses that intentionally build career paths and opportunities from every position are highly desirable. Employees want to be able to grow as professionals without looking for a new job when it’s time to step onward and upward. Employees who see a real future in your company through these developed career paths are more likely to sign on, engage, stay with the company, and more deeply invest their skills for the future made possible by well-designed career pathing. 

The benefits of career pathing become quickly evident.

Increase Employee Retention

Employees who see a future in your company are more likely to stay. Most people don’t want to look for a new job when they outgrow a role, but external hiring policies and gaps in the org structure often make it necessary. Career pathing smooths over those gaps so employees can make the choice to pursue training, coursework, and leadership instead of moving on. They will become even more valuable members of the team when able to build their careers inside the company.

Future-Proof Your Business

Career pathing makes it possible to build the talent you want to have. You can train your future leads and leaders. You can cross-train your most capable team members to cover for each other and capabily step into interim roles whenever necessary. Businesses that develop career pathing are more robust, have better business continuity, and can train employees to attain future-ready skills to become the specialists and technology experts you need.

Attract Career-Focused Job Candidates

Job candidates are also attracted to roles with clearly defined career paths. Talented professionals can see your roles and plan for a secure and enriching future. They can see that your company cares about their development as a person, not just the skills they can offer in the moment. Candidates will see a future they can invest in, which will attract the driven, career-focused candidates that you want to hrie.

Boost Overall Performance and Capabilities

Employees with a realistic opportunity to advance are more invested. Where many positions are coasting to the next job search, a career-pathed role is an opportunity to learn and grow. Employees are more likely to give their all to pursue their own career goals while providing the company with greater performance, honed skills, and all the benefits of an ambitious staff.


Career Pathing Tools

Nurturing career development is essential for employee engagement and retention. Using the right tools can help you implement career pathing in a way that is accessible and empowering for your workforce.

  • Planning: Visualize Career Paths

    • The first step to career pathing is to visualize potential career growth from each position. Realistically assess how professionals in one position could learn and advance. This includes possible promotions, lateral paths, and necessary training to achieve each transition.
  • Self-Direction: Virtual Training Courses

    • Access to self-directed training is very popular. Seek virtual training courses or platforms where employees can pursue new certifications. Dedicate some time each week to study and provide the resources for remote certification testing.
  • Recognition: iSolved Share and Perform

    • Trust and recognition play an important role in career pathing and encouraging your employees to pursue advancement. The isolved Share and Perform solution provides a comprehensive platform to recognize employee accomplishments, provide feedback, and share incentives for further achievement.


Career Ladder or Career Lattice

There are two ways to build career paths inside your company: Career ladder and career lattice. These variations allow for vertical and flat organizational structures and can accomodate the preferences of individual professionals who may be seeking either leadership or skill-building opportunities.

Career Ladder

A career ladder is a vertical career path. This is a path that seeks direct promotion up the chain from the current position. Career ladders promote team members to leads, leads to managers, managers to supervisors, local to regional, and so on. Career ladders tend to focus on leadership roles but can also include vertical advancement in skill and prestige for more specialized careers such as engineers, where there is an important striation from junior to senior positions.

In a career ladder, advancement is direct with each advancement providing greater authority, compensation, and industry recognition.

Career Lattice

Career lattices include lateral moves and are more accomodating for flat organizational charts. Career lattices paths involve cross-training, working with different departments and duties. In a career lattice, professionals gain broader knowledge and experience. They may be preparing for a leadership position where understanding combined operations and the duties of every team is essential, or they may be professionally curious and desire the ability to perform every task.

Career lattices increase a professional’s value in skills and experience, earning compensation based on that combined value, and they can become an industry leader through expertise even before they achieve a high position of authority. 


Empower Your Career Pathing Strategy with Platinum Group

Career pathing is a powerful strategy for employee engagement, attracting talent, and building a formidable workforce of advanced skills and professional acclaim.

Platinum Group is a human capital management enterprise providing cloud-based solutions to innovate and streamline your workforce. We’re here to help you focus on what matters most while simplifying the strategies you need to get there. 

If you are interested in learning more about us and our isolved platform, we invite you to visit our website or schedule a demo. We are eager to understand your unique business needs and provide you with our human capital management solutions to help you streamline your operations and achieve success.


Tags: Business Growth Employee Engagement Employee Retention Agile Workforce Attract and Hire

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Julie Miles

Julie Miles

Julie’s passion is to act as a liaison between the Platinum team, their wonderful clients, and the community, striving to tell their stories and make connections.