Learning & Development

How to Develop Career Maps for Your Employees

According to research highlighted by Inc., the top reason employees leave their current companies is because those companies aren’t offering them career advancement or promotional opportunities.


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And additional research has confirmed that employee attrition rates remain the highest when employees are allowed to stay stagnant in their current roles and that the modern-day employee truly does want a distinct career path or career map.
Developing distinct career maps for your employees can be more difficult than it seems at first. So, here’s a brief summary of some things you’ll want to consider doing as you develop them.

Consider Your Organization’s Objectives and Future, Too

While you want to build career maps that are relevant to and tailored to each employee, you’ll also want to consider your organization’s objectives and long-term goals as you’re developing their career maps.
For example, if an employee wants to learn how to lead a department that builds manufacturing equipment even though your company has no plans to build manufacturing equipment in the future, then it might end up being difficult to develop a relevant career map for him or her.

Determine Where Each Employee Is Today

It will be difficult to plot a career map or path for an employee if it doesn’t start with where the employee is today. So, first consider each employee’s current role, experience, skills, strengths, weaknesses, etc., before you start mapping his or her future destinations at your organization.
Look at employees’ current work performance and evaluations, the courses they’re taking, their coworkers’ and managers’ feedback, etc.

Identify Realistic Timelines

When developing career maps, discuss immediate and future timelines and goals with your employees. Keep in mind that where they want to be on their career maps within a month, 6 months, 1 year, or 5 years will be completely different.
And it is important for your employees to think simultaneously about what can be accomplished in the immediate future and what can be accomplished in the distant future. This way, they won’t lose motivation or sight of their career trajectories and will always be working toward something that they’ve plotted on their maps.

Plot Out Training and Development Plan

Once you understand where your employees are right now and what their timelines look like, you’ll be able to add their individual training and development plans to their career maps. You’ll want to plan what experiences, training, and development they need during each plot point on their maps.
For instance, an employee who wants to manage a department within 5 years might start with learning how to manage small projects first, take leadership and teambuilding courses within a few years, acquire more hands-on experience managing small responsibilities within the department on a regular basis within a few years, and so on.

Continually Track Progress

Once employees set timelines, goals, and plans on their career maps, you’ll want to continually track their progress to ensure they’re taking the right training courses when needed, that they’re gaining the hands-on experiences that they need at the right times, etc.
And you’ll need to be prepared to adapt to changes, as well, in case an employee changes his or her mind about what he or she wants to do in the future or an employee must take an extended leave of absence and so on.
For even more details on why you want to help your employees develop career maps and how to do it, read “Helping Your Employees Build a Long-Term Career Path.”

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