The Power of Career Growth Frameworks

What is a career growth framework and why should you use one?

The Power of Career Growth Frameworks

The Power of Career Growth Frameworks

What is a career growth framework and why should you use one?

Simply put, a career growth framework will help you if you are looking to increase diversity, improve employee engagement, improve opportunities for all employees to succeed, and enhance your workforce planning.

What is a framework?

From an employee perspective, a career framework provides clarity and transparency around role requirements and career progression criteria (such as career path options and the competencies required for these). It also helps employees understand and navigate potential career options. Research done at LinkedIn showed that 83% of Gen-Zers want to learn skills to perform better in their current role. But without a framework, how are they meant to know which skills to learn?

Instead of employees accepting a role and sitting in that role with little or no progression for five years (or even one year), career frameworks enable employees to set clear goals and work towards them within an organisation. They help managers to answer many of the questions that employees want to understand, such as:

“How do I get a promotion?” 
“How do I showcase and utilise the skills I have?”
“How do I progress?”
“How do I get a pay rise?”

At their core, frameworks are roadmaps that show employees where they sit within the organisation, and what skills they need to develop in order to advance, if they choose to.

Why use a framework?

Diversity, equity and inclusion is difficult for organisations to achieve. Back in 2020, Gartner released findings that 90% of HR executives admit their company hasn’t done enough to increase representation. Gartner also suggests that using career frameworks to help advance underrepresented talent will lead to an increase in diversity among leadership. Fairness in assessment needs to increase in all roles and across all levels of organisations. 

Career frameworks help all employees at companies. It doesn’t just reward the employees that usually get promoted; it eliminates bias and allows space for all employees to succeed. This allows you to get the best employee for the role, the person who will outshine all others instead of just the candidate who looks like the last person who did the same role, and affords underrepresented people the same opportunities as everyone else.

There are a multitude of reasons that career frameworks are a must-have but another reason is retention will increase as employees feel that they are treated and compensated fairly. Salary transparency, set pay scales, and set growth pathways help employees know that tall, white, confident Steve in engineering who has a Top 8 education and five years of experience is being paid the same as Mary whose skills and experience outperform his but who didn’t go to the same university.

Frameworks enable better workforce planning because when you understand the roles you have, you can see where employees might potentially move to fill gaps, and what skills you may need to hire for to replace them.

The benefits of career frameworks are: 

Increased diversity,

Improved employee engagement, 

Improved opportunities for all employees to succeed, 

Enhanced workforce planning.

But, career frameworks shouldn’t be approached as a one-size-fits-all. Some departments are very nuanced. In the case of technologists, the career growth framework needs to have a very strong technical lens. You cannot apply the same framework as you would for a marketing person.

How to get started?

As a starting point, you’ll want to define job families and create consistent definitions of job levels. 

Then you need to clarify the skills and knowledge required for each role. What are the job-specific competencies you’d like employees to achieve and what are the typical timescales for mastery? 

It’s crucial to then offer employees career management tools – make it easy for them to track their skills and achievements. Help them to connect to development opportunities and provide learning and development programs. 

We have seen organisations spend upwards of $65k building out their own tech specific career growth frameworks. The time spent discussing which competencies should be measured and tracked can blow out significantly. There are best-practice frameworks on the market that provide online tools to make technical performance reviews easy and equitable. The software then provides individual growth plans, team skill maps and interview score cards, helping with talent acquisition, workforce insights and career pathways.

If you’re interested in learning more about tech-specific frameworks, connect with us.

The Power of Career Growth Frameworks