By: Tracey Hofmann, Strategic Marketing Communication Coordinator

Job Market Stability

Economists usually make job market predictions at the start of each year but, as we’re still dealing with the pandemic’s long-reaching arm, it seems the only certainty is uncertainty. The turmoil, as described by Forbes magazine, includes companies in fierce competition for talent and large corporations simultaneously threatening layoffs and imposing hiring freezes. All this is happening as the Great Resignation’s ripple effect continues, and the trend of quiet quitting goes on underneath the surface.

Locally, we at Riggs Creative Group have lent our listening ear to clients in varied industries who face hiring issues like the lack of applicants and difficulty retaining skilled workers. If you are feeling it too, you are not alone. So, how can small businesses attract new talent? How does an employer reassure current staff that they are a valued and important part of the business?

Career Path Mapping Answers the Retention Conundrum.

We’ve found career path mapping to be an important practice that companies can adopt to attract and retain staff. These paths show employees how they can move successfully into desired roles within an organization. Developing career paths requires employers to first understand each employee’s career goals, current skills, and on-the-job experience. It also requires the employer to define the skill sets and experience needed for each position. From there, career path planners can identify what an employee must work on to advance to a desired position. Keep in mind that not all career advancements are necessarily upward. Even if an employee wants to make a lateral change, the process is still the same. A career path map can be created as a guide that employees can follow to get to where they want to be. Depending on the industry, steps required to progress might be training, certification, education or time-on-the-job among other tasks.

Ensure the Map’s Success with Mentorship

One way to support the success of employees who are following a career path map is to provide a mentor to guide them in reaching the next milestone. A mentor can help a mentee by offering advice and guidance when moments of doubt arise.  Mentors can also connect mentees to influential people and increase their networking circle.

Give Employees Path & Purpose

Reasons for the increasing turnover rates include lack of career growth and development, inefficient compensation, and lack of recognition. Implementing a career path map can benefit employees in many ways.

  • To start, the implementation of a career path initiative is evidence to employees that their employer needs and values them.
  • Employees are asked to express their individual goals, which can be an empowering.
  • Career path mapping can help improve retention rates by ensuring that employees know what their future might look like at a company.
  • The sense of balance, that an employer is giving as much as they are getting, leads employees to feel good about work and feeling good about work leads to greater productivity.
  • A positive work environment can lead to more positive customer experiences.

Business Benefits & Beyond

An article from CCI Consulting predicts that voluntary turnover will reach 35% in 2023. For employers this can be a major concern, especially for those whose staff count is already lower than desired. Career path mapping is designed to assist employers as much as it benefits employees.

  • Career path mapping can lead to operational efficiency because recruiting from within is less expensive and time-consuming than hiring outside the company and having to train new employees.
  • Companies can better plan for the future with succession planning by knowing which employees have the potential to move into vacated senior positions.
  • Retaining employees can result in a richer customer experience, thanks to the preservation of historical knowledge of products and services.
  • Even with a career path plan in place, you may still need to engage new hires at some point. Current workforce statistics show that those in today’s talent pool are looking for flexibility and career growth. Career path mapping is likely to pique the interest of candidates looking to move up.

Tips for Career Path Mapping

Indeed offers guidance for career path mapping. First, be sure to involve all employees in the process. If advancement is not their interest, they may still do well improving upon their current skills. Be clear and realistic in your goal setting and track the plan’s performance.

Whether your reason for building a career path program is to retain staff, attract new talent or both, remember that the plan must align with your business goals. Encourage and reward growth that is mutually-beneficial to your company and your employees.