Developing Career Paths for Your Employees

Many employers focus on salary and benefit packages as a way to attract new hires and retain existing employees. Smart companies know they need to offer more. But what? There are many theories on employee engagement and recognition. Career planning for employees is one of the ways to fit those needs.

What are the benefits of having clearly defined career paths for your employees? It turns out, they are significant!

  • Differentiates you from your lab or market competitors
  • Helps you retain key workers
  • Attracts and retains younger workers
  • Decreases turnover after an economic downturn
  • Allows employees to take ownership over their own development
  • Encourages development and performance conversations

Perhaps you have a few questions along the way. Here are some common questions I’m asked by manufacturers on a regular basis.

What is a career path?

A career path is a sequence of work experiences and job assignments that provide employees opportunities to participate in many aspects of a professional or company career ladder. Essentially, it is a structured sequence of job positions through which a person progresses in an organization.


Download a Sample Career Path Model


I want to establish career paths in my manufacturing company – what approach do I take?

There are a number of approaches you can take to create career paths within your company. Some are very complex and others less so. Three of the most common career paths are based on Historical, Organizational, Behavioral approaches.

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There is not a one size fits all answer to this question. What works best for your company may not work for another manufacturer. Success is very dependent on the maturity level and organizational readiness of a company. No matter which method you follow, the significant benefits of having a clearly defined career path do not change.

Engaged manufacturing employees

Ultimately, employees are responsible for the development of their own careers, if you give them the opportunity to do so. Employees can be some of your biggest company brand ambassadors –If they are satisfied.

Creating a positive work environment with an actual path to advancement helps keep current employees happy and builds your organization’s talent.

People within your company need to understand that they have room to grow and that efforts are being made to facilitate their career growth. The ultimate goal of setting up a career pathway for your manufacturing employees is to create loyalty. This loyalty will be based on thinking beyond salaries, fostering employees who genuinely care about your business and collective success.

Some of our clients have begun to work on career pathway mapping for employees, with dramatically successful results.

Smart talent