icon What is Career Pathing? Create a Plan For Internal Success | HRDQ Skip to content
What is Career Pathing? Create a Plan for Internal Success - HRDQ

What is Career Pathing? Create a Plan for Internal Success

Establishing career goals gives employees a roadmap for their future at your organization. By mapping out their careers, employees are able to remain motivated, engaged, and productive as they work towards their ultimate career objectives.

Employers should take an active role in helping their team members plan their careers as doing so grants benefits not only to employees, but also to businesses. This allows them to increase employee retention rates and encourage long-term loyalty.

Here’s a closer look at what career pathing is and how you can create a plan for internal success and long-term growth.

What is Career Pathing?

Career pathing is the process of mapping out an employee’s career at their current organization. It answers the classic interview question, “Where do you see yourself in five years?”

Career pathing helps employees evaluate their skills, interests, and experience to identify internal opportunities for advancement. This process allows employees to plan their careers, starting from entry-level positions and progressing to leadership roles in their department. Career paths can also focus on lateral movement instead of vertical advancement.

Career pathing is an essential process for personal and professional growth.

Advantages of Career Pathing for Employers

By taking an active role in helping your employees plan their career paths, you can achieve several great benefits that improve workplace performance.

Employee retention

Retaining high-level talent is critical to maintaining great workplace productivity. Career pathing prevents employees from feeling stuck in their roles or becoming uninterested in their work. Instead, they remain focused on achieving the career goals that they have established.

A well-thought-out career map encourages employees to look for internal advancement opportunities rather than searching for new positions at other companies.

Prepare for the future

Career pathing creates a plan for internal success. By gaming insight into your employees’ skills and abilities, you can identify which employees are best suited for more advanced positions that will need to be filled when current employees eventually retire.

Employee engagement

Career pathing is a great tool to keep your team motivated, happy, and engaged with their work.

Effective career pathing practices give employees valuable insights into their competencies and potential career opportunities. Knowing what opportunities are ahead of them encourages employees to remain dedicated as they work towards the future.

Employers can take this a step further by offering training opportunities to help employees develop new skills which help them get closer to achieving their goals.

Career Pathing Benefits for Employees

Career pathing doesn’t just help employers, it also provides several great benefits for employees working at your organization, including:

  • A sense of job security. Career pathing gives employees a sense of job security as it ensures that you want to form a long-term working relationship with them. This helps employees remain engaged as they aren’t concerned about their future at your company.
  • Creating a plan for advancement. Employees want to know that their job isn’t a dead end. By mapping out their futures, employees know they have something to work towards and won’t feel as if they need to look for outside opportunities for advancement.
  • A sense of trust. Employees need to be able to trust their employers, and career pathing builds trust by giving employees a clear idea of where they stand and how they can continue to progress.

Career pathing is a mutually beneficial process that helps employees remain engaged and motivated while also helping employers experience a boost in productivity and employee retention.

Career Pathing Tips

To achieve these benefits, it is important to approach career pathing in an effective and thoughtful manner.

When working with employees to map out their careers, employers should keep these key tips in mind:

  • Identify and analyze employee skills and capabilities that can contribute to their long-term career goals.
  • Identify ways in which employees can develop new skills that will help them achieve their goals (e.g. employee training, attending industry conferences, etc.).
  • Establish clear internal career paths that demonstrate opportunities for advancement.
  • Continue to invest in employee development to help your team achieve their career goals.
  • Conduct employee assessments regularly to evaluate their progress and help them identify how they can improve.
  • When applicable, give employees access to mentors that can help them with their career development.

Career pathing doesn’t have to be difficult, and by keeping these tips in mind, you can set your employees and organization up for success.

Improve Employee Engagement with HRDQ

Career pathing is an important tool for increasing employee engagement, retention, and loyalty. By implementing this process in your organization, you can help employees plan for the future to the benefit of themselves and your organization.

At HRDQ, we offer high-quality education and training resources to help employers improve the overall performance and productivity of their businesses. Employee Engagement is a Reproducible Training Library course that helps employers improve engagement through career pathing and other important management tactics.


click hereFor more great career development assessments and training materials, explore our full Career Development Training collection. Shop Now!

Previous article Instructional Design Guide: What Is It and How Does It Work?

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields

About our author

Bradford R. Glaser

Brad is President and CEO of HRDQ, a publisher of soft-skills learning solutions, and HRDQ-U, an online community for learning professionals hosting webinars, workshops, and podcasts. His 35+ years of experience in adult learning and development have fostered his passion for improving the performance of organizations, teams, and individuals.