Career Path: A Path to Success

shutterstock_146275016When working with firm owners I typically hear, “we don’t have people with the right skills for the demands of this business.”  Conversely when I interview employees of advisory firms I hear, “this firm doesn’t take advantage of half of my skills that I have to offer.”  It is often evident that there is a lack of career development and training; not to mention a lack of communication about the needs of the firm and the desires and skills of the existing team.  Defining career paths for employees is a great way to strengthen career development in your firm.

What Is a Career Path?

A career path is a track or defined plan for progress, development, and growth over an employee’s tenure at the firm.  A career path should cover the progression of an employee’s capabilities, skills, and experience.  It should also include the opportunity for employees to move laterally in addition to the more traditional approach of “moving up” in the organization hierarchy.

Below are some tips for creating a Career Path Framework.

For a career path to be meaningful and effective it should be:

  • Clearly defined
  • Goal-driven
  • Communicated and understood by the employee
  • Based on both knowledge and experience
  • Consistently implemented across the firm

The framework should cover the following for each position within the career path:

  • Number of years’ experience
  • Time in role/position
  • Training targets
  • Additional credentials/education
  • Performance rating (exceeding expectations)
  • Leadership and management skills
  • Demonstrates the firm’s core values
  • Each role should have a compensation plan; base salary and incentive opportunity clearly defined

Creating a culture of growth and mobility ensures your employees will stay engaged and stick around to potentially be the next generation of leaders and owners of the firm.

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