A career map represents a clear route for a staff member’s professional growth during their time with your company. Also called a “career path,” this map can outline certifications an employee needs for your company to stay compliant, skills the team member is interested in developing for their career, and promotional steps for an employee to move up within the company.

A career map should also include the smaller steps that can help employees achieve larger goals and opportunities. Think of it like giving driving directions. You don’t provide only the end destination — you offer an actionable series of steps to reach that destination.

Aside from organizing staff roles and promotions very neatly, there’s an even bigger and more valuable reason you should be creating career maps: to keep your key employees around.

A lack of career advancement is the number one reason why employees quit their job. Career mapping, which allows you to clearly show employees their paths for career advancement, can help you increase employee satisfaction and retention. Here’s why career mapping is so important to your staff, and how you can start creating career maps for your team members.

Why is Career Mapping Appealing to Employees?

It isn’t surprising that employees appreciate career mapping. The process of career mapping allows employees to play an active role in steering themselves towards a higher, future position with your company.

It also offers employees clarity regarding next steps — with a career map to navigate the way, employees can gain visibility into their promotional opportunities, and what they can do today in order to work towards a promotion.

Employees with a clear map forward are also more likely to remain engaged in their work — which is crucial, given that nearly half of U.S. workers struggle with staying engaged. Offering training that aligns with an employee’s career map is one of the best ways to boost engagement and retain employees as a result.

When you invest in career mapping, you invest directly in your company’s success. Career planning for employees can offer a segway to succession planning, which is crucial to the future of the company. The lack of a succession plan can cost a company up to $11 billion annually, and it means your team will continue to hemorrhage talent as managers retire with no one prepared to fill their shoes.

Using Career Mapping to Attract Candidates

Career mapping is an excellent pitch for the recruitment of new hires. Instead of speaking vaguely in your job postings about potential advancement, you can show candidates that your company offers all employees detailed career maps. This is a concrete way to differentiate yourself in an ever-competitive job market. Presenting a potential career path to a job candidate during the recruitment process shows that you’re not only hiring an employee to perform a specific job — you’re also presenting them with the possibility of growth over the coming years.

Career mapping is especially important for attracting individuals from the rising Millennial workforce. A 2017 study of Millennial hiring trends found that more than half of the Millennials that were surveyed saw career pathways as an attractive job feature.

Career Mapping: Next Steps

You don’t need to write out each detailed career map with pen and paper. Getting started with career mapping is actually quite simple, thanks to technology. Our comprehensive BirdDogHR Learning Management System (LMS) can help you get started in building — and executing — career maps for your entire team.

The BirdDogHR LMS isn’t your standard “one-size-fits-all” training solution. Our online courses have been carefully created by a team of instructional designers, tailored to provide relevant training for industries ranging from construction and manufacturing to supply chain management.

Our course bundles cover HR and compliance, health and safety, and certification management. This inclusive approach means that regardless of the highly specialized roles at your company — and the varying steps along their career maps — our LMS solution has you covered.

Even better, because this is a cloud-based software solution, your employees can engage with their career map and online training courses anytime, from anywhere. BirdDogHR LMS is a modern solution for your modern workforce.

Contact us today to see how you can use career mapping and the BirdDogHR LMS to engage your current employees and recruit new talent with an appealing career path forward.