How Career Mapping Can Cure Professional FOMO (+ Easy Tool)
Job tenures are shortening. The average person now changes jobs 12.4 times between the ages of 18 and 54, meaning high turnover and high recruitment costs for companies. Why is this happening?
Employees don't see an internal future with the organization — instead, they're getting professional FOMO (fear of missing out) and are seeking a new career path elsewhere.
If this is a recurring problem in your company, career mapping will help you retain your talent and provide a rewarding future for your employees.
🛣️ What Is Career Pathing?
The main aim of career mapping (also known as career pathing) is to offer a detailed overview of the job opportunities available in your company so employees want to stick around.
Here's how career maps work:
1. Employers create a roadmap of all the job roles within a company
2. Each job role includes a description outlining the skills, competencies, and experience required.
3. Employees are encouraged to create individual career paths from their current position to their goal role.
4. The employer provides a wealth of training and development opportunities to get employees from their starting point A to their goal role of B.
While some of the steps on the career map may be vertical moves such as promotions, others may be lateral moves to different departments. Both will encourage skill enhancement and personal growth.
"Contemporary development is a journey that evolves through countless (frequently small) moments that come together over time to create rich and multidimensional careers–and rich and multidimensional human beings. Just as life should be lived daily, by enjoying the journey versus myopically obsessing over the destination, so should careers. This means expanding the definition of career to include all that can be developed and grown throughout one's life at work."
- Julia Winkle Giulioni, author of "Promotions Are So Yesterday."
📈 What Are the Benefits of Career Mapping?
Career mapping has clear benefits for both companies and employees. Companies want to hang on to their best talent, while employees love knowing they're working for an organization that values their future.
Some of the top benefits of career mapping include:
1. Improving employee retention
It's pretty darn expensive to hire new staff - with the average cost per hire standing at $4,425. But hanging onto your employees isn't just convenient; it's also a savvy business decision.
Besides saving money on recruitment, offering internal career moves keeps your employees interested in your organization. Need proof? This LinkedIn Global Trends report highlights that companies committed to internal mobility enjoy a 41% longer employee tenure than companies with low rates of internal hiring.
Rather than waiting for proactive employees to seek out potential new roles, internal recruiters should work alongside Learning and Development professionals. The ultimate aim is to develop existing talent, provide enriching training programs and map out career opportunities for them.
2. Boosting employee engagement
Most organizations have an employee engagement problem, meaning team members are more likely to quit and find a more fulfilling role with a different employer. Gallup's State of the Global Workplace 2021 report illustrates this.
"20% of employees are engaged at work. The majority of full-time workers in the world are either watching the clock or actively opposing their employer. This disengagement creates a drag on productivity, innovation, and organizational change. Successful corporations of the future will not only generate profits but will also generate thriving employees who are capable of weathering crises."
A key way to produce these thriving and engaged employees is to provide incentives to stay with a company, which is one of the main objectives of career mapping. What can we expect by giving them a reason to stay? 40% of employees would be willing to work harder in their roles if they were happier at work.
3. Solidifying succession planning
Career mapping is a vital component of succession planning. Along with identifying high-potential candidates to fill crucial roles in your organization, you'll also prescribe the route these employees will take to reach their goal position.
"As much as talent acquisition is about external talent, it's equally internal talent in many organizations. And you've seen in the last decade, the amount of emphasis on internal mobility has only grown." - Nagaraj Nadendla, Senior Vice President, Product Development
- Oracle Cloud HRM
Career paths for succession candidates often include a combination of lateral moves and job rotations. This provides exposure to multiple parts of an organization before a successor takes the reins in a managerial capacity.
4. Identifying skills gaps
Unfortunately, 87% of companies are already experiencing skills gaps or expect to in the next few years as roles evolve and the hiring market is more competitive. But Citrix research reveals that hiring new employees is only the first step in closing skills gaps. Instead, 82% of current employees and 62% of HR professionals believe workers must reskill at least once a year to remain relevant in a competitive job market.
Commit to developing your internal talent and show them what an internal career path looks like at your company. The reward? 73% say they'd stay at their company if there were more skill-building opportunities.
5. Attracting new candidates
The Great Resignation means companies are striving to attract and retain new candidates. But are employers tuned in to what these candidates require? HR Happy Hour podcast presenter Steve Boese doesn't think so. He explains that companies focused on transactional factors to help retain talent are missing the point of what employees are now looking for.
"We saw a lot of stay bonuses, sometimes even temporary uplift in wages, especially for frontline workers. If you're focusing on transactional factors, the employee feels like my relationship to the employer is just a series of transactions. And I will be happy to leave to some other employer who might value me a little bit more than just a transaction."
Strengthen your brand as a leading employer through career mapping. This will entice candidates and prove they have a firm future with the company. Check out how Markerstudy Broking promotes career mapping in this LinkedIn ad. 👇
6. Improving diversity in leadership
Nearly 80% of talent professionals ranked "diversity hiring" as the most critical trend in the recruiting industry for 2022. But this trend isn't restricted to external hiring and should be used in internal development too.
The right career progression framework will create a fair career development path for any employee to follow. It will level the salary playing field for women and remove hiring discrimination for employees with physical disabilities.
Implement career mapping in your company to promote this inclusivity. Defined career paths will show precisely how employees of any background and experience level can progress to leadership positions.
🗺️ Career Map Components
A practical career map includes these essential elements:
- Job description role cards - flesh out a template of each position, including the seniority of the role, reporting lines, and the tasks they perform.
- Role competencies - include core, job-specific, functional, and leadership competencies with each role card to confirm employee requirements.
- Personality types - define soft skills and character traits for a role, such as being assertive or empathetic, which helps an individual locate the right career path. You may use personality and behavioral assessments too.
- Learning and development opportunities - promote suitable training programs or internal initiatives such as shadowing to support employees in meeting their career development goals.
⚙️ How to Create a Career Map: 8 Best Practices
Ready to implement career mapping in your company? Follow these 8 steps, including best practices.
1. Review your company's org chart
If your company already has an org chart outlining a basic hierarchy of roles, this is an excellent place to start. Update this as required.
Tip: if you hope to add new roles to match future company goals, make sure these are included in your plan. Employees can map out their internal move to a position that may be available a year or more from now.
2. Build your career paths
Next, pay attention to the relationships between job roles in your organization. Not all career paths are linear, so remember to add clear paths across departments to encourage growth and enable employees to reach their dream job.
Think career lattice (with plenty of sideways opportunities) rather than career ladder (a straight-up vertical).
3. Outline competencies for each role
Define crystal clear job descriptions and the competencies required for each role in your career map. This might include core competencies that every member of your organization needs and specific or technical skills, qualifications, or experience for the role.
Tip: Always include competencies in your job role cards to reduce role ambiguity.
4. Keep company goals in mind
Always prioritize business goals and objectives when outlining your career map. You may map out paths to future roles your company needs in the next 1 to 5 years. But take care not to define a path to a role your organization doesn't need, even if your current employees would thrive in it.
5. Identify learning and development needs
Now you have a career map in place, assess how realistic it is for employees to advance with your current employee development systems. What training or mentoring are you already using to support individuals? If you're not sure, some quick ways to find out include:
- Surveying your current workforce to assess satisfaction with learning and development // Get a useful template here
- Conduct exit interviews (or revisit the documentation from these) to decipher why people are leaving your company
- Analyze your mentoring, coaching, or job shadowing programs to determine how effective they are.
6. Provide comprehensive training programs
From your assessment, define where gaps may lie, and take action to introduce training and development programs so your employees will thrive. This may include:
- Clarifying budget for training
- Requiring leaders to provide mentoring
- Organizing job rotations for employees to gain experience.
7. Increase employee awareness
Once finalized, share your career map with your internal employees (both long-term staff and new hires during onboarding) to increase awareness of new opportunities in your organization.
Include personal success stories of employees who have moved around internally. This is just the motivational kick some employees may need to explore their career growth options.
8. Stay flexible
Finally, a career map is not something you create once and forget about. For best results, revisit it annually or any time there are structural changes to your company.
Remember to stay flexible and include new growth opportunities as your organization naturally evolves.
📝 Career mapping templates
Employees will work with their manager and human resource management to create a personal career plan. Working from a company overview, they'll map out the steps needed to arrive at their goal role.
Always attach dates to career map goals and objectives. This will help employees to measure their success and keep them accountable.
🏢 Examples of companies using career mapping
Want to see some career maps in action? Check out these stellar examples of employees who didn't have their heads turned by another company because of amazing in-house opportunities.
Vodafone is passionate about encouraging employees to learn and develop continuously. The company offers mentoring and support from more experienced colleagues to allow individuals to thrive. They also publish inspirational stories of staff members who have progressed along their own career journey with the company.
Example: Chloe Mulligan's initial role with Vodafone was Project Coordinator within Project & Programmes, but her dream was to head down the company's Professional Services career path. Her first promotion was to Project Specialist before the next step up to Project Manager.
Barclay Simpson provides two different types of career paths. Employees can progress along the 'Fee Earner' route or the 'Management' route, depending on their individual career goals. Either route provides employees with access to the company's Director grade and clarifies the criteria to gain a promotion. The company actively showcases successful career development graduate stories.
Example: Sophie Spencer started at the company as a Legal Senior Consultant. She moved into positions as Treasury Manager and Head of Treasury before promotion to Director People & Performance. She says, "I'm very grateful that Barclay Simpson has allowed me to take on additional responsibilities in areas that interest me and to take my career forward in such varied directions."
IBM has a vast array of career acceleration programs and has a rich history of supporting women in the workplace. Some available development programs include:
- Level Up - a program designed to develop women into executive leadership candidates.
- Tech Re-Entry - a global program aimed at tech pros who wish to rejoin the workforce.
- Pathways to Technical Leadership - a program to recruit, develop and retain technical leaders during a series of shadowing opportunities and roundtable discussions.
👀 Curious about the career progression frameworks at companies like Spotify, Intercom, and Dropbox?
We collected 11 examples of career progression models here.
➡️ Use our career mapping tool
Creating a career progression framework is easy with Zavvy's employee growth solutions. As part of a career map, you'll develop role cards and competencies before encouraging employees to forge their dream career paths.
By creating crystal clear pathways across your entire organization, you'll offer exciting progression opportunities for all employees, without any hint of prejudice or bias.
➡️ Keep your top talent and prevent career FOMO by checking out this innovative approach to employee growth and development.