January 24, 2024

Barbra Gago

Career paths: A way to scale your company even faster & keep employees happy

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TalentBuzz Podcast Summary with Guest Barbra Gago from Pando

Why Career Frameworks are Important

  • Career frameworks address the common issue of lack of career progression, a key factor in employee engagement and retention.
  • Companies often promise growth opportunities but lack clear paths, leading to employee uncertainty about their career trajectory.
  • Effective career frameworks optimize employee development, impacting revenue and business outcomes.

Common Challenges in Career Progression

  • Employees often leave companies to advance their careers, indicating a gap in internal growth opportunities.
  • Traditional performance reviews, conducted annually, can delay or hinder employee progression.
  • The tendency to promote high performers into management roles, regardless of their managerial skills, often leads to ineffective leadership.

Shifting Focus to Individual Contributor Paths

  • The Peter Principle highlights the risk of promoting people to their level of incompetence, particularly into managerial roles.
  • Modern career frameworks offer parallel paths, allowing employees to advance as individual contributors or managers.
  • Companies should align pay scales for management and individual contributor roles to avoid undervaluing non-managerial paths.

Developing Career Frameworks

  • Career frameworks should define levels and competencies specific to each role, providing clarity and direction for employee development.
  • Barbra emphasizes focusing on leveling frameworks before compensation, considering the company's size and growth.
  • Creating transparent, competency-based career frameworks encourages continuous employee development and progression.

Employee Lifetime Value (ELTV) and Career Frameworks

  • ELTV represents the total value created by an employee over time, influenced by hiring costs, ramp-up time, and retention.
  • Optimizing ELTV involves enhancing hiring practices, accelerating employee ramp-up, and creating clear paths for career progression.
  • Companies are becoming more aware of ELTV but still struggle with effective measurement and performance tracking.

Getting Started with Career Frameworks

  • Begin by establishing a leveling framework that reflects the company's strategic goals and growth plans.
  • Introduce a basic rubric with a manageable number of competencies applicable across roles.
  • Couple the introduction of career frameworks with initiatives to encourage constructive feedback anchored around competencies.
  • Gradually evolve the framework to include real-time progression models and systems for tracking development.

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