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Establish an Enterprise-Wide Career Path Framework

Use a consistent career path framework to facilitate employee development and build your talent pipeline.

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  • Dr. Eddie Blass, FCIPD, Executive Director, Learning Innovations Hub at University of New England.
  • Armdale Greg Helm, CHRP, Senior HR Business Partner, BMO Financial Group
  • Dr. Naomi Stanford, Organizational Design Director and author.

Your Challenge

  • Lack of clear career paths is the number one cause of employee departure.
  • Although employee development continues to be a priority for HR, employee development initiatives continue to fall short and prove to be ineffective.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • When a career path framework is nonexistent, it creates complexities in being able to transition employees to various departments and functions. Career pathing instead becomes unique to every functional area and departments in the organization.
  • HR leaders are looking for ways to provide employees with a realistic picture of career path options beyond the traditional vertical job ladders. This was the traditional “career ladder” approach.
  • A “career lattice” approach can be used by managers and employees to plan outside the traditional vertical movement to also include lateral and even downward movements to reach long-term development goals.

Impact and Result

  • An enterprise-wide career path framework with consistently defined career tiers, competencies, and proficiency levels ensures that both employees and managers can clearly identify transferrable skills and potential career path opportunities.
  • A structured career path framework also helps integrate a variety of HR programs that are often disjointed. This saves time and effort and enables a consistent employee experience.
  • A career path framework should identify: generic core and common competencies, consistent proficiency levels for each competency, and job family specific competencies and proficiency levels by tier.

Research & Tools

1. Prepare for project launch

Establish goals, measures of success, number of tiers, and governance guidelines for your career path framework.

2. Select and build out competencies

Select core, common, and job family specific competencies, and minimum proficiency levels for your framework.

3. Create administration guidelines

Create administration guidelines to help develop a successful career path framework.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is a five call advisory process.

Guided Implementation #1 - Prepare for project launch

Call #1 - Create a plan for the project kick-off meeting.

Guided Implementation #2 - Select and build out competencies

Call #1 - How to select core, common, and job-specific competencies.
Call #2 - How to determine proficiency levels.
Call #3 - How to evaluate the career path framework.

Guided Implementation #3 - Create administration guidelines

Call #1 - How to create administrative guidelines for the career path framework.

Onsite Workshop

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Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Prepare for Project Launch

The Purpose

  • Prepare for the launch of your career path framework project by engaging key stakeholders, and establishing goals, measures of success, governance guidelines, and an ideal number of tiers.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Planned to engage key stakeholders.
  • Documented career path framework goals.
  • Set success criteria.
  • Created governance guidelines.
  • Established framework tiers. 




Draft and document goals and measures of success.

  • Draft and document specific framework goals and measures of success.

Establish governance guidelines.

  • Establish governance guidelines to ensure practice aligns with intent.

Identify the ideal number of tiers.

  • Identify the ideal number of tiers for your career path framework.

Module 2: Select and Build Out Competencies

The Purpose

  • Select and build core, common, and job-specific competencies.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Select core competencies.
  • Select common competencies.
  • Determine proficiency levels for each competency, by tier.
  • Select job family specific competencies.
  • Evaluated the career path framework.




Select core competencies.

  • Select core competencies that apply to every role in the organization.

Select common competencies.

  • Select common competencies that apply to many jobs in the organization.

Assign expected proficiency levels.

  • Assign expected proficiency levels by tier for each core and common competency.

Select job family specific competencies.

  • Select competencies that only apply to jobs in a specific job family.

Module 3: Create Your Administration Guidelines

The Purpose

  • Create administration guidelines that cover governance, the purpose and goals of the career path framework, roles and responsibilities, success metrics, and clear communication and training strategies.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Created administration guidelines for your career path framework.




Create administration guidelines.

  • Use the administration guidelines template to create a guide for both employees and managers.