In the wake of the pandemic, companies are rethinking how they attract and retain top talent as millions of workers resigned in numbers unseen for a generation. Some of the nation’s leading companies recognized an opportunity to invest in career pathing, career coaching, and upskilling programs. Personalized upskilling & career programs help workers identify how their skills and passions can help them progress at their current employer.

Career pathing programs also keep employees more engaged at work because they see the investments a company has made on their behalf. These investments can make a difference for an entire organization by improving morale, satisfaction, productivity, and transparency.

Table of Contents

How can an organization develop employee career paths?

What does effective career navigation entail?

What is career coaching?

Next steps

How can an organization develop employee career paths?

The most dedicated employees are motivated to excel within a company. However, companies with minimal opportunities for promotion and training opportunities risk losing these employees who may become discouraged by a lack of career benefits. 


What is career pathing?

Instead of developing vertical ladders to leadership, offering career pathing services is more valuable. Unlike the traditional career ladder, career pathing is where an HR associate, talent development supervisor, or career navigation coach works with an employee to map their potential trajectory within an organization. 


Why is career pathing important for employees?

Career pathing is particularly valuable for hourly employees who are unsure of their next role or title after years of time within a company. The process also helps illuminate what skills or certifications may be needed for employees to achieve their desired roles and function within the company.

When career pathing is available to a company’s entire workforce, employees can align their career goals with the broader, strategic goals of the company. This level of alignment can improve:

  • Retention of existing employees
  • Office culture and rapport
  • Public perception of the company
  • Recruitment of new and junior employees
  • Differentiation from competitors


What does effective career navigation entail?

Effective career navigation begins with a deep understanding of how personal skills, proficiencies, and years of experience will contribute to professional goals in the long term. It also requires an awareness of the next steps to the ultimate destination and the flexibility to pivot when necessary to remain both on track and motivated to continue the career pathway. 

This is no easy task for a junior or mid-level employee who has joined a large enterprise company. Companies that invest in career pathing or career coaching services can solve this problem and introduce an array of valuable benefits for the entire organization.


Career navigation


What is career coaching?

A career coach differs from a mentor, a corporate consultant, or a therapist. Instead, a career coach works with professionals to assess their personal interests, proficiencies, and current workplace trajectory to help build a list of job targets that best satisfy these three variables. Career coaches also help identify professional barriers, such as required education or experience level. 

It’s common for professionals to seek a career coach when they are dissatisfied or unchallenged by their current position.


How does career coaching work?

Experienced career coaches and career mobility consultants are experts in people and can help bridge the gap between career fulfillment and success. The best programs offer professionals multiple opportunities to explore how their goals, values, and experience align with their long-term objectives.

In an ideal scenario, this translates to around one hour per week for a minimum of six weeks. This time frame allows the career coach to understand each subject beyond ambition and skillset better. 

There’s no such thing as an eternal career coaching program for one professional. The best career coaches cultivate their client’s confidence and self-awareness to be their own coaches.


Is it practical to hire an in-house career coach or a third-party professional development company?

Companies’ first questions about hiring an in-house career coach or an outside partner typically regard cost.

Companies and professionals don’t typically consider investing in career coaches because professional development services are presumed to be boutique businesses available only to the elite.

This common misconception prevents early and mid-level professionals from seeking guidance at a time in their careers when they may need it most. 

On the other hand, some companies opt for training programs comprising pre-recorded videos with minimal employee interaction and engagement opportunities. This is typically the least expensive and least successful method of reinvigorating professionals at any level.

Other companies partner with a training company that offers in-person sessions for an entire department or workforce seated in the same room. While it can be nice to “lunch and learn” with peers, these sessions are impersonal and led by an instructor who has little to no relationship with the attendees.

The most cost-effective approach is to work with a strategic partner that offers several solutions such as career coaching, career pathing, self-paced upskilling opportunities, and more into one consolidated career mobility platform curated for your business.

A career mobility platform is a smart investment for workforce development that can drastically impact productivity and mitigate the costlier effects of turnover and recruitment.


What are the benefits of hiring a professional development consultant?

There are unique benefits to partnering with a company that offers access to a team of career coaches. At the very basic level, career coaches take time to develop a relationship with their clients and have the potential to offer a truly transformative experience and uncover purpose in an employee’s day-to-day experience at work. 

Additional benefits of working with a career coach include:

  1. Heightened awareness of employee morale
  2. Professional development opportunities available at all levels of employment
  3. Deeper insights to create leadership ladders, career maps, and meaningful promotion opportunities
  4. Creation of trust and a sense of support among employees
  5. Employees who are personally accountable for their roles

Career development for your employees

Retain your frontline employees by offering them career coaching and access to digital skills learning programs. Pathstream is tailor-made for your industry and built for employee engagement and retention. Unlock the potential of your workforce and help them see a future at your company by scheduling a demo today. 

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