Career ladders provide a clear and proven pathway for career development.
If you’re a mid-market CEO, then chances are that one of your biggest concerns is talent retention. After all, having the right employees in place is crucial in driving success and profitable growth. To ensure that you keep the best people on board for years to come, implementing career ladders can be an invaluable tool for keeping top talent engaged and motivated both now and in the future.
Career ladders are a hierarchical structure of positions for various jobs that provide a clear pathway for advancement. A typical ladder includes entry-level, mid-level, and senior-level positions that require greater experience and skill sets. Each rung on the ladder typically comes with additional requirements and performance expectations. There will also be professional development opportunities spread throughout the journey as well.
Benefits of Career Ladders
There are many benefits to career ladders for the employer. By providing clear and defined pathways for employee development, companies often experience higher retention rates and increased engagement from employees. It is both motivating and encouraging to employees to have clear pathways identified to reach the next level in their jobs and careers. Career ladders can also help mid-market companies with succession planning, showing high potentials the pathway to take as they move up the corporate ladder.
Steps to take when creating career ladders in your company
- Identify job families by function within the organization.
- Define job levels for each job family. In other words, separate job families into entry-level, mid-level, and senior-level positions.
- Determine job requirements at each job level.
- Provide training and development opportunities throughout the pathway.
- Ensure the career ladder roadmap is clear and explains the required skills and knowledge needed to progress to the next level.
- Monitor and evaluate the career ladder’s effectiveness by measuring their motivation and engagement levels. Don’t forget to track retention metrics.
- Revise and update as needed.
Mid-market CEOs fight to win the “war for talent,” but the battleground has shifted in nearly every way. In some cases, climbing a professional ladder that someone else has already constructed no longer inspires or engages an individual.
Another alternative: Career Portfolios
More and more job routes are not necessarily linear. These non-linear career trajectories are referred to as “squiggly careers,” which are “full of ambiguity and opportunity,” according to Helen Tupper and Sarah Ellis, authors of the book ‘The Squiggly Career’. By focusing on providing valuable and diverse experiences to your employees, thereby developing a career portfolio, you are creating a workforce that will be able to provide new insights, find innovative ways to tackle complex challenges and serve the company in valuable ways.
Mid-market companies should look more seriously at career ladders as a talent management initiative. They foster employee retention, attract high-potential candidates, and help keep employees engaged in their work. Companies can build more resilient and successful teams by creating ‘career ladders’ that support an employee’s growth and progression. For those seeking an innovative way to enhance career growth, consider utilizing the power of career portfolios, which unlock a world of opportunities for those willing to take the plunge and expand their skillset in a truly dynamic and holistic way.
It’s now up to the mid-market CEOs to ask themselves: where can we create value by providing career ladders or even carving out career portfolios? Successfully implementing these strategies requires intentional planning and dedication— but when done well, it is sure to prove rewarding for both employers and employees.