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5 Steps To Perfecting Your Career Progression Plan
Whether you’re an employer or employee, career progression plans are essential for talent development. Not only do they create a clear roadmap of your employee’s future goals, but they’re also great for building stronger relationships and are a major factor in positive employee retention rates.
Which is especially important if you’re a UK employer, as the UK has some of Europe’s worst employee engagement rates, highlighting a genuine issue with how businesses interact with their team.
So, investing time into creating solid progression plans could be the secret to better retention. But creating effective progression plans can trip managers and managees up.
In this guide, we’ll reveal five steps to creating top career progression plans that cover all bases and create clear roadmaps for all company members. So sit back, relax and let’s dive in.
What exactly is a progression plan?
A career progression plan is designed to help people identify their goals and create a roadmap for achieving them. It’s an ongoing process that involves setting short-term, intermediate, and long-term goals to provide focus and direction.
Businesses use them to set expectations and goals for each employee to move up the career ladder and work towards the company’s objectives.
Career progression plans typically include milestones such as achieving certain certifications, acquiring new skills or competencies, taking on new responsibilities, and completing performance goals.
They also often include timelines for achieving these milestones and may consist of specific training or development opportunities to help employees gain the necessary skills and knowledge to advance.
It’s important to remember that employers and employees find progression plans mutually beneficial. They can also help mentors support people more effectively.
📖 Find out more about How to Be a Good Mentor in our guide 📖
Does everyone need a progression plan?
In a previous post, we explored the importance of career progression and how it ultimately defines a company’s success. It’s a known fact that people today look for more than just a job.
According to research by recruitment agency Aspire, over 60% of people who participated in a survey said they were looking for a new job.
With people being more likely to leave their roles if the opportunities aren’t there, employers need to support their team and help them develop plans that move each employee to their future goals.
Some people might say that career progression plans are more of a luxury than a necessity, but forward-thinking companies can prepare for the future and avoid high employee turnover rates by utilising these plans.
And the benefits go beyond retention. Setting a clear path for development helps you to build a high-performing team, with the right skills to do their jobs. A must in today’s ever changing workforce.
Most employee’s will have an idea of where they’d like to be in the future, and if employers work with them to reach these goals, they’re more likely to remain loyal to the company.
When creating a career profession plan, both manager and managee should be involved to ensure clear expectations and that both parties know what they’re working towards.
Next, we’ll look at five steps to crafting the perfect progression plan.
1: Set the direction
The first step is to assess your current skills and experience and determine what skills and experiences may be lacking. The main goal of any progression plan is to move forward, so understanding your starting point will ensure you’re going in the right direction.
Looking at where you’d like to be in the future is essential. For example, an employee might want to go into a management position, while the employer’s goal could be integrating software and AI to improve the company’s productivity. You need alignment in the end goal to create a successful progression plan.
Career progression plans should include short-term goals and long-term objectives to ensure each person stays on track.
2: Evaluate the current situation
Understanding where you’re at will help you figure out how to reach your destination. Employees will think about their goals, but employers must also consider how those objectives could fit into the company’s bigger picture.
Looking at any qualifications or certifications held will also highlight areas of weakness and enable managers and mentors to create effective training plans. It’s also essential to look at the skills needed for future roles and potential qualifications.
Developing progression plans can also help employers and managers notice any areas of weakness that might impact the company.
3: Make a timeline with action points
Once you understand where you’d like to go and create a roadmap, it’s time to break it down into actionable steps—outlining specific actions such as taking courses or obtaining certifications to increase your chances of success.
For example, if a manager is onboarding a new employee, the roadmap could start with a current skills assessment and then map out training points to get the individual to the same stage as long-term employees.
Progression plans should also map each person’s journey, from entry-level to senior managers.
As the plan goes on, it should include various courses and workshops that will serve a purpose in getting the employee to reach their goals.
4: Execute the plan
Once the plan is complete, it’s time for the fun part; executing it. You might find that the initial plan changes once active because specific courses or training programmes might be unavailable.
The important thing is to stay on track with immediate goals and far-reaching objectives in place.
Once all parties know their responsibilities for ensuring the plan comes to fruition, it’s easier to keep track of things and successfully meet each point.
📖 Finding a mentor is a key part of success in your career development. Find out more in article: The Importance of Mentoring 📖
5: Review progress and reevaluate
Regularly reviewing and updating each career progression plan ensures it remains relevant and aligned with career and organisational goals.
Employees might explore different courses and change their goals, which employers should accept and encourage if it improves the business.
Regular reviews also highlight any issues with the company’s mentoring programme and enable them to evaluate whether the progression plan is in the best interests of everyone involved.
Looking for more help? Find a mentor
As you can see, career progression plans mutually benefit both employer and employee, but they’re not always easy to set up. Someone with experience in your field can boost professional development and ensure employees get bespoke support.
Mentors are invaluable assets for a company because they give employees the opportunity to learn new skills and move towards their dream careers.
📖 Find out how mentoring makes great managers here 📖
There are so many statistics that prove the benefits of mentors. With 97% of people saying their mentor was valuable, it’s clear to see companies with mentoring programmes will reap endless rewards.
As an employee, you should ask your manager to invest in a mentoring programme. And as a leader, you should be backing your people up!
Mentors can ensure employees stay on track but also bridge the gap between high-level management and entry-level employees, highlighting what’s important and enhancing communication.
Progression plans ensure individuals and companies reach their goals and build something together. Creating the perfect plan takes time, but the results far outweigh the initial investment.
And if you back up your people’s progression plans with access to mentoring and other support systems, you’re sure to bring out the best in your people. Meaning better productivity, better retention and happier employees!
If you’re new to mentoring, the Guider blog features plenty of valuable resources to help you get started: