The Importance of Career Pathing in an Organisation — A Detailed Guide

Several digital technology tools offer career pathing opportunities for business, all of which are discussed below. Once companies thoroughly understand these benefits, they can easily incorporate them into career pathing, which benefits both top performers and under-performers alike.


One might ask, what is successful leadership? Most employees will answer that a great leader invests long-term in their team. They ensure that they have a long career with them, and enjoy the benefits that come with a long-standing employee. Replacing top talent is a financially and personally stressful chore, which would hamper the company’s growth as well.

In an in-house Human Resources department, one of the most challenging tasks is to promote employee engagement, productivity and retention. Nobody likes to deal with frequently-leaving employees, as it costs the organisation a lot of money, time and effort to look for a replacement. Though there are numerous strategies for retaining employees, the best one could be to plan a career path for them.

Career Pathing: the definition

It refers to a comprehensive, structured and goal-oriented development plan for the workforce to maximise their career potential in the company. The plan assesses the employee’s experience, goals, skills, competencies and shortcomings for every new role, where they can be groomed accordingly.

In other words, it identifies and works upon lateral and vertical advancement opportunities for the employee, and prepares them for their career path. After adequate training, such employees can have greater roles and responsibilities to boost growth and engagement throughout different departments.

What are the advantages of career pathing?

Well-designed and executed career pathing examples enable the employees to recognise internal opportunities according to their interests, preferences, competence and experience. This will not simply positively impact the team, but benefit the human resources and company as well.

  1. Employee retention

High-performing employees, more often than not, leave their current jobs because of a dearth of growth opportunities. Employees want to learn new skills and take up new responsibilities, which would be impossible in smaller organisations. Therefore, providing career training opportunities regularly to improve a company’s retention rate.

Much of a company’s current workforce will consist of millennials, who are eager to learn and prove themselves. As mentioned earlier, the career path gives insight into their advancement opportunities and gives them options to get there. All of this, if done well, will significantly contribute to fewer absentees, positive interactions between clients and customers, reduced employee theft and a low turnover rate.

  1. Employee engagement

An HR professional strives to maintain employee engagement in an organisation, as the latter are always looking for higher salaries and scope for professional and personal growth. Companies can start with evaluative activities to assess employee engagement and offer development opportunities to both present and future employees in terms of growth, competencies, gaps and resources to overcome them. Thus, employees know their position on the career development scale and perform accordingly.

  1. Maintain a younger workforce

Younger-generation employees are more interested in upgrading themselves, choosing a valuable career path and higher salaries than their older counterparts. Therefore, companies can keep them around to always recharge the team with fresh ideas, hard work and ingenious strategies to fulfil business goals. If employers treat them right, they can pursue transitioning interests in an encouraging work environment.

  1. Succession planning

The HR department engages in succession planning to overcome gaps between the company and employee’s career goals with resources. Career pathing streamlines and provides important resources to prepare ahead by identifying competencies and training opportunities accordingly. The insights gained prevent multiple employees from competing for the exact same positions, and bring in new hires.

  1. Higher return on investment

As mentioned, much energy, time and finances are spent on hiring and training new employees. However, the longer an employee contributes to a company, the higher value they will bring, adding growth to the company overall. Though they may not stay with the employee forever, they will be equipped with skills to continue adding value to their work.

  1. Increased security and loyalty

Employees are interested in a career path that is secure, long-term, interesting and constantly challenging. Working as partners, the HR team helps the employer and employee come together and achieve business goals while retaining engagement and loyalty. If a company provides unbeatable career opportunities, employees will choose that company over any of its competitors due to their desire for long-term success.

How to promote career pathing?

Open communication bridges the gaps between the team’s objectives and performance, by identifying individual interests and goals, understanding the team’s strengths and viewing them as important resources to chart a successful career path.

  1. Offer opportunities for career development

Employees look for other positions that match their skills and assign special projects accordingly, all of which constitutes career mapping. However, additional responsibilities could be as counter-intuitive without a promotion or new designation. Therefore, companies should think of new designations and work roles to motivate their employees to exceed expectations. Companies need to make sure that these designations are within the organisational aims.

Balancing regular projects with new responsibilities that will engage and reward the employee in the long run also helps exponentially. Discussing progress with their employees and rearranging responsibilities wherever needed will in improving retention efforts and maximising talent.

  1. Focus on all the employees

Even if a company’s top-performers are not interested in promotions at the moment, an internal mobility programme will motivate them to learn new skills. Also, let’s not simply focus on the high-achievers but help the under-achievers to strengthen their skills as well. Establishing fair and supervised promotion policies, available positions, criteria and announcements on time help a company immensely.

  1. Arrange for training opportunities

Conducting seminars, mentoring, projects, webinars, training classes, promotions, transfers, coaching, tuition reimbursements and internal application process for employees to constantly upgrade themselves is imperative. Creating long-term plans that challenge employees beyond their comfort zone are equally important. Prioritising learning with educational and training opportunities helps in building trust and encouraging them to move forward in their career.

  1. Challenge high-performers with responsible tasks

Allowing high-achievers to take initiatives regarding projects, which helps build ownership, responsibilities and a will to succeed. If promotions are not readily available, giving them different projects will help them to grow as a professional. Keeping the skills, knowledge and experience requirements for advanced positions accessible to all deserving employees is essential so that they can prepare themselves accordingly.

Several digital technology tools offer career pathing opportunities for business, all of which are discussed below. Once companies thoroughly understand these benefits, they can easily incorporate them into career pathing, which benefits both top performers and under-performers alike:

  1. A customised development plan
    Summarise the experience, training, learning and other requirements needed to reach employee goals into an easily-accessible document
  2. Career mapping and implementation
    Inform the staff about the different job types in the corporation, and how to apply for them with existing talent and learning management platforms
  3. Job-matching
    Link employees with existing company roles and responsibilities that align with their skills and interests.

Planning a career path is not difficult, but it requires understanding the company and employees inside-out. If you are looking for expert recruiters to help you with your hiring and staffing needs, reach out to us at BetterPlace.

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