Employee Development

What is a Career Pathway? Career Pathways Explained

Interested in employee career pathways? We're sharing a simple career pathway definition to help you better understand this employee development phenomenon.

Over the past 12 months, there have been lots of discussions about the potential benefits of employee career pathways, but before we can use them to influence retention and engagement, we need to ask the question, "What is a career pathway?"

Today, we're offering a simple career pathway definition and explaining how career pathways actually work. If you’re looking for more detailed information this rising career development tool, be sure to check out our comprehensive guide to career pathways. For now, let’s bring on the definition!

What is a Career Pathway?

Simply put, a career pathway is a roadmap for an employee’s career progression within their organisation. It shows their roles in the company so far, their current role, and the roles they hope to hold in the future.

Career pathways may also show milestones that the employee should hit on the path to their next role, for example, earning a qualification or completing a series of mentoring sessions.

The goal of career pathways is to give employees, managers and leaders visibility of employee career journeys. For employees, this provides clear direction on where their career is headed and how they’ll get there. For managers and leaders, this helps with strategic planning by allowing them to forecast which employees will fill which roles in the future.

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