Having career paths in place gives employees a clear view of the path they may need to take to advance. They help employees understand that the position they currently occupy is not their end goal, but rather a step in a progression of roles to eventually become a manager or other role. Having this type of clarity can keep employees engaged and motivated at work because they have a long-term view of the professional growth they seek to achieve with their organization.
In addition to establishing career paths, it’s important for leaders to be trained in supporting the development of their teams by conducting career-focused conversations regularly. This is a way for managers to ensure that their team members are progressing down their career pathway and meeting all the requirements needed to qualify for the next position in the progression of jobs. It also helps them spot any roadblocks or construction zones that need to be addressed, such as the need for more managerial training to enable an employee to move from a junior software engineer into a lead role.
Creating clearly defined career paths can also save companies money in the long run. The recruitment process is expensive, and the loss of an employee comes with associated costs such as lost productivity and the cost to replace the role. The implementation of career paths can mitigate these costs by keeping employees engaged and limiting their need to leave the organization to pursue new opportunities.