Don’t Let Your Team Engagement Die with the Performance Review

When it comes to performance, candor carries the day, says Jack Welch, famed ex-CEO of GE. If you perform well on your review, you get a raise. If you perform poorly, you get yanked. This frank approach was the inspiration for GE’s annual review system, often called “rank and yank” for being so systematic, and oftentimes, brutal.

Many believe this form of performance management is dying, but we believe we’re far past that. Even GE, once a popularizer of the system, has abandoned the practice altogether. Adobe is also benching the process and structuring ongoing conversations, called check-ins, around expectations, feedback, and growth and development.

In other words, the performance review is dead. And there are three trends in business that killed it.

1. Low unemployment. Employment in the U.S. is currently around 4 percent, the lowest rate since 2000. This inevitably leads to a more competitive job market. Scarce talent often leads companies to hire from within, or find creative ways to seek out the best talent, then engage and retain those employees. This challenge is very familiar for the ever-changing IT industry, where finding skilled talent can be difficult and turnover can be costly. 

iVentures is one IT company faced with this problem. The traditional review process made its technical and customer service teams feel stagnant, and in 2015, iVentures turned to career pathing. Jennifer Korsun, iVenture Solutions’ director of people operations, sums up the impact of the switch in this way: “We were looking for a solution that could track employee development progress and allow our employees to build out a career path for themselves. We wanted a tool that could give them a clear picture of their gaps, so they knew what to work on to get them to that next step in their career.”

Having that clear picture helps employees at organizations like iVenture visualize a future within the company — ultimately saving the business time and money needed to recruit in a competitive talent landscape.

2. High volatility with low engagement. Disruption is everywhere, and technology is affecting every market and business opportunity. To remain competitive, companies need to attract, keep, and engage all-star talent. Only 33 percent of the American workforce is engaged in their jobs. Choosing career pathing over the performance review can increase employee engagement at all levels, especially since everyone in the company can participate in the process.

One iconic food brand wanted to start career development initiatives to improve their overall employee engagement. The HR team worked with us to develop a career mapping model for all employees to build their careers internally through clearly identified career progression opportunities. The goal was to expose various lateral and vertical career path opportunities available to employees all around the globe. As a result, employees move from just checking boxes on a form once a year to active participation in an ongoing process with multiple checkpoints throughout the year.

3. Long-term development. With so much changing and millennials’ dominance in the workforce — along with their emphasis on societal impact — the next-generation workforce wants long-term career development. According to the 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey, young workers are eager for business leaders to be proactive about making a positive impact in society — and to be responsive to employees’ needs. Contrary to popular belief, they want to know how and where they fit in the company.

That’s an important benefit of career pathing. Unlike the performance review of the past, career pathing can make it clear to employees how they can grow their career, what skills need to be developed, and how long it will take a typical employee to progress from role to role.

As you can see, career pathing has many benefits. And it’s the best way to ensure that your organization is ready for the future of work. Give your performance review a reboot with a career pathing strategy that will overcome the business challenges of a tight employment economy, empower your employees, and improve the employee experience.

Career Pathing vs Succession Planning: Understanding The Difference

Career pathing and succession planning are common terminologies within talent management but the difference in their application and the separate benefits of each can be misunderstood and overlooked. In the majority of cases, employers prioritize succession planning, assuming that career pathing will somehow ‘fit’ naturally into it.

But high performing organizations require both.

Why it matters

Succession planning on its own, while essential for high performance organizations, is no longer sufficient to completely support an effective talent management strategy. Today’s talent has choices.

As employee confidence is at record levels, HR must go all out to not only attract highly skilled candidates but to hold on to the talent they have. Research from Hays shows that 4 out of 5 employees would leave their current roles if a better job offer comes along – and that isn’t dependent on compensation. Employees will compromise on salary in return for the right benefits, workplace culture and career development opportunities[1].

What’s more, these key strategies are both critical if employers are to respond to the shift from ‘careers’ to ‘experiences’. But just 37% are either ‘ready’ or ‘very ready’ to address such a transition[2].

Developing effective yet distinct strategies around succession planning and career pathing can help to address this transition but HR must get clear on the difference.

Succession planning : Focuses on identifying and nurturing talent to fill anticipated business critical positions. It is employer driven to ensure a highly skilled talent pool is available to replace departing employees.

Career pathing : is the systematic process an employee uses to chart their own career development path within an organization. It gives them autonomy and a sense of control over their career.

Where succession planning is carried out on a ‘top down’ basis in response to organizational needs, career pathing is driven by the employee. The aim is to bridge the gap between the two and in doing so improvement engagement, reduce attrition levels and create a positive culture that attracts more talent to your brand.

Bridging the gap

The differences are subtle, but clear:

Essential steps of career pathing

  1. Your employee carries out a self-assessment of their own individual abilities, interests, career aspirations and goals. This includes evaluating and understanding their current skills and experience that can help them to identify roles which may fulfill their potential.
  2. Multiple career options are mapped out based on that self-evaluation to enable them to develop a career plan focused on both short-term and long term career goals.
  3. Flexibility with career pathing is essential as the focus shifts to the employee experience.
  4. Career counseling may be helpful to ensure goals are realistic and an effective plan is created.
  5. Employees are empowered and enabled by recommending career paths, job enhancement, vacancies and job rotations aligned to skills, goals and aspirations.

Planning for success

In Succession Planning, HR carries out an evaluation of existing talent and future skills requirements, involving the whole organization. Succession planning should not be limited to the C Suite.

  1. Business critical roles are identified which require succession planning.
  2. The competencies and experience needed for each of these roles are evaluated.
  3. Existing employees are evaluated against these requirements and key talent is identified in terms of performance and potential for meeting future skills needs.
  4. For each individual, the development needs and skills gaps required to take them to the next level are identified.
  5. Employees are then enabled to be prepared for future promotions, ideally focusing on experiences.
  6. A development plan is then prepared which is mapped out identifying progress along the way.

Both career pathing and succession planning must be carried out as stand-alone exercises which enable HR to identify the similarities and highlight the disparities between employee expectations and aligning skills with business goals and strategies.

Research from Gallup suggests that listening to what your top performances value most helps to improve retention and improve your company culture[3]. Defining distinct yet aligned strategies around career pathing and succession planning are crucial to achieving that.

Support with dedicated software

Achieving effective career pathing and succession planning requires more than a ‘one size fits all’ approach and should be clearly differentiated within your organization’s overall talent management strategy.

Support your career pathing and succession planning strategies with career pathing software and succession planning software designed to help your business create a more competitive culture.

To learn more about career pathing and succession planning, visit our learning center for webinars and other content.

Improving Internal Career Mobility By Humanizing The Employee Experience

Organizations are struggling to find talent for critical positions and are actively looking for external hires to fill these skill gaps. Internal talent is often overlooked but research shows that utilizing internal candidates can yield significant benefits, such as higher retention and faster time to productivity. One of the main reasons employees leave an organization is lack of career progression. Facilitating movement of employees across different jobs can help fill skill gaps while satisfying their desire for career progression and new experiences. In this webinar, TalentGuard and IBM will address how improving internal mobility and encouraging personalized career development engages employees and transforms a company’s overall employee experience.


  • Linda Ginac, CEO, TalentGuard
  • Sheri Feinzig Ph.D., Director, IBM Talent Management Consulting and Smarter Workforce Institute

WEBINAR: Is Internal Career Mobility The Answer To Your Talent Shortage?

WEBINAR: Wed, Jul 18, 2018 9:00 PM - 10:00 PM GST


Linda Ginac, CEO, TalentGuard

Sheri Feinzig Ph.D., Director, IBM Talent Management Consulting and Smarter Workforce Institute

The talent shortage shows no sign of abating. New research from IBM Smarter Workforce Institute found that over half (51%) of all HR professionals say they are struggling to fill open jobs some of the time and over one third (35%) state they ‘very often or always’ experience difficulty filling positions.

In the US alone, around three million employees leave their jobs every month and the global skills shortage is predicted to worsen, at the risk to global growth.

The key to retaining the talent vital to the success of your organization is internal career mobility.

As critical positions go unfilled, the majority of organizations automatically turn to external sources when recruiting for their open jobs, often overlooking the talent available within their existing teams. But lack of career progression is one of the main reasons for the talent exodus.

2018 : The year of the employee experience

2018 is predicted to emerge as the year of the employee experience. As traditional career models evolve into ‘experiences’, HR must respond to that shift to retain talent and bridge skills gaps.  Internal career mobility enables them to achieve that goal in three ways:

  • Facilitating movement of employees across different jobs.
  • Empowering them to learn new skills and creating new experiences.
  • Enabling career progression.

But research shows that almost one third of HR professionals are dissatisfied with their organization’s ability to meet their internal mobility goals. By not recognizing your internal talent your employees will seek opportunities elsewhere.

Benefits of internal mobility

Developing a clear internal career mobility strategy offers several benefits to your organization. Internal mobility has been shown to:

  • Enhance employee career satisfaction.
  • Improve talent retention levels.
  • Reduce recruitment costs and increase time to productivity of your ‘new’ hire.

Unlike with a new hire, there is no difficult onboarding process to navigate as your internal hires are already assimilated with your organization’s culture and can get up to speed much faster than a recruit.

Employees promoted internally also demonstrate significantly better performance for the first two years than external candidates.

Adopting a different approach to career mobility

Failing to recognize your existing talent will continue to impact engagement and retention levels. Adopting a strategic approach to internal mobility is achievable with the following steps:

Empower your employees : The responsibility for internal career mobility isn’t exclusively that of the employer. A systematic approach to career development is essential to empower your employees to map their own career path scenarios and evaluate personal skills gaps.

Nurture your talent : Promoting internal career mobility is beneficial to your entire organization in terms of both skills development and developing a positive culture in which talent can thrive. By emphasizing the potential for career progression, employees are more engaged and happier in their work.

Support your processes with technology : Facilitating internal career mobility with technology will provide an interactive and automated experience for employees to easily navigate to vacant and aspired roles within their organization.

[WEBINAR ALERT] Building Personalized Career Experiences for the Modern Workforce

From Insurance to Financial Services to Information Technology, turnover is a critical problem facing organizations. Unhappy employees leave their companies to find new opportunities where they can develop their career, learn new skills and take part in exciting and challenging work.

In this webinar, you’ll learn:

  • how to begin the transformation to a continuously developing workforce

  • find out how to identify and close skill gaps

  • engage employees in meaningful work

  • build personalized career experiences tailored to employees’ career aspirations

TalentGuard Wins 2018 IBM Beacon Award for Outstanding Talent Management Solution

TalentGuard is recognized for exceptional work in driving business value by delivering world-class solutions

TalentGuard Career Pathing shown here.

Austin, Texas – March 20, 2018 – TalentGuard, a global provider of talent management software, is pleased to announce that it has earned a 2018 IBM Beacon Awardfor Outstanding Talent Management Solution. Revealed at the IBM PartnerWorld at Think conference in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 20, 2018, TalentGuard was selected by a panel of expert judges consisting of IBM executives, industry analysts and members of the press. The award recognizes TalentGuard’s exceptional work in driving business value by delivering world-class solutions through its talent management software suite.

TalentGuard’s award-winning career pathing software offers a systematic approach to career development, enabling employees to map multiple career path scenarios, review job competencies and evaluate skill gaps. By giving employees the career pathing tools to chart their career progression, they become more engaged in their roles and the development of their careers. As a leading solution, Career Path expands across many verticals with demonstrated success. TalentGuard strives to continue to be the solution of choice for career pathing and employee engagement initiatives.

TalentGuard was selected among dozens of global applicants based on an in-depth application process that included customer testimonials. This win is a testament not only to TalentGuard’s commitment to innovation, but also to their customers and their satisfaction and business growth.

TalentGuard was one of 17 award winners and dozens of finalists for categories encompassing a wide range of solution and services areas – from analytics and cloud to security and customer engagement. The IBM Beacon Awards program recognizes IBM Business Partners that deliver exceptional solutions to help drive business value and transform the way clients and industries operate. For more information about the 2018 IBM Beacon Awards, including details on all winners and finalists, please visit: https://www.ibm.com/partnerworld/page/beacon-awards-overview.

To learn more about the IBM PartnerWorld program, visit https://www-356.ibm.com/partnerworld/wps/servlet/ContentHandler/partnerworld-home.

About TalentGuard
TalentGuard is a global provider of competency-based talent management solutions delivered as Software-as-a-Service. Our cloud-based software suite is unmatched in its ability to engage and retain employees. Our integrated technology helps organizations automate performance management, 360 degree feedback, career pathing, succession planning, individual development planning and certification tracking. TalentGuard also helps improve business outcomes with our extended network of credentialed career coaches, training programs and content.

Through its network of trusted integration partners, TalentGuard is seamlessly integrated with the broader HCM ecosystem including HRIS, Applicant Tracking, Compensation Management and Learning Management. For more information or to schedule a demo:

Succession Planning: Should You Keep it Internal?

The goal of succession planning is simple: to recruit top talent to fill key positions when they become available with as little transition time as possible. However, the process itself is often more complicated. Which positions are key, for example, and where does that top talent come from?

Key positions are whichever positions are vital to day-to-day operations. These generally include the C-suite positions, as well as the payroll manager, the president or CEO’s executive assistant, and other vital roles. In order to fill these positions, businesses can either look within their current employee pool or they can look outside the company for a qualified candidate.

Looking outside the company often means finding a candidate who is currently filling one of the identified key roles for another organization. When hired, that candidate then brings his current experience in the role to the new organization. Theoretically, that experience decreases training and transition time, imparting two huge advantages for management and the executive board and increasing the odds of success for the candidate.

Internal candidates, in contrast, don’t possess direct experience but they offer a number of advantages over external candidates. They already know – and fit in with – the company culture. They also have established camaraderie with other employees, which can be crucial to success in a new management or upper-level position, and they have a proven track record of success inside the company.

An employee recruited from within the company to fill a key position has already shown that she is a high potential employee. Competencies have already been demonstrated, and the management team or executive board can trust that she is going to succeed in the chosen role, because she has already succeeded elsewhere. That’s why she was identified as top talent in the first place.

External candidates may have more experience filling a role, but they cannot match the internal candidate’s knowledge of and familiarity with the day-to-day operations of the organization. And that, ultimately, is what translates into less downtime and greater success for everyone involved.

ON-DEMAND WEBINAR: Predictive Retention - How to Know Before They Go (IBM & TalentGuard)


Incase you missed the live webinar:

Attracting and keeping great talent are perennial challenges for organizations. But what causes people to want to leave? What might entice seemingly happy employees away? The IBM Smarter Workforce Institute conducted in-depth research among more than 22,000 employees (WorkTrendsTM 2016) to find some evidence based answers. 

Jointly presented by IBM & TalentGuard

Here are some surprising facts from the research. 

  1. 62% of employees could be tempted to take a new job
  2. Better compensation and benefits is a #1 talent attractor
  3. High potentials are much more likely than others to be attracted by opportunities to Learn New Skills
  4. Great employer brand more important job attractor for Millennials and Generation Xers
  5. Most people are not leaving because of their managers
  6. Passionate employees are least likely to quit
  7. Use the right assessments to increase person-job fit and person-organization fit during
  8. Listen regularly and act on the voice of employees. Understand employees’ individual needs and use those insights to help create a positive and engaging experience. Be aware of the factors that may trigger an employee’s voluntary departure.
  9. Meet your own employees ‘top attractor’ factors, including career development, opportunities to learn new skills and exciting, challenging work.

WEBINAR: Predictive Retention - How To Know Before They Go?

WEBINAR Predictive Retention.jpg

Employee retention is one of today’s greatest workforce challenges. Sixty-two percent of employees could be tempted to take a new job at any given time while hiring and onboarding new talent continues to require valuable time and resources. Talent retention is about three key things: hiring the right talent, retaining that talent and finally, getting ahead of the game by predicting who might leave.

In this webinar, we will share compelling insights from recent IBM Smarter Workforce Institute research about the factors that cause employees to leave their jobs and how these insights can be applied to your organization. TalentGuard will reveal how to engage employees in meaningful work, motivate employees to develop their careers, and how your organization can achieve more employee anniversaries. Together, IBM and TalentGuard have created a Predictive Retention model that will equip you with the information you need to take on this critical workforce challenge.

After this webinar you will be able to answer the following critical questions:

  • How do I identify the specific factors that can contribute to talent attrition and turnover?
  • How can I predict which employees are most likely to voluntarily leave?

How can I improve retention in my organization?

Five Ways to Develop Employees Using Succession Planning


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Successful succession planning depends on retaining high potential talent and developing those employees so they are prepared to fill key roles. Development efforts often are based on well-defined individual career paths, which keep employees engaged and motivated to excel. However, even companies who don’t have a full-scale career pathing process can bolster succession planning efforts by focusing on honing the talent and leadership skills needed for each vital position. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways.

Constructive feedback tied to specific goals helps employees clearly measure their performance and adapt to meet new challenges. Unfortunately, only 23% of employees feel they are getting the feedback they need to excel. Companies who focus on providing regular and meaningful feedback to employees, however, see 3.6 times the level of engagement, which translates into higher retention rates—a vital component of successful succession planning.

Lateral moves help high potential employees gain necessary skills for new roles by exposing them to varying tasks and responsibilities. Such moves also keep employees engaged by offering the opportunity to meet new challenges. Employees who make many lateral moves also obtain a big-picture view of the company as a whole—a perspective necessary for success in many top-level roles.

Leadership roles like team lead build the kind of leadership skills an employee may need to succeed in future management roles or executive positions. They also promote confidence, a trait that makes employees more likely to speak up about new ideas.

Special project assignments can build specific skill sets, as well as encourage self-direction and independent thought. They also can help fill identified skill gaps in an otherwise well-qualified candidate. Assignments like spearheading a new division or opening a branch in a new region may also serve as a trial run to see how a candidate might perform in a larger role.

Internal and external training opportunities do more than train employees to be better workers. They also encourage retention. Two out of three employees say training plays an important role in their decision to stay with their employer. To be effective, however, training must be engaging. Research indicates that customizable, interactive training that allows employees to go at their own pace and review material already learned may be the most beneficial.

By investing in the development of high potential employees in any of these five ways, companies ensure continual access to a talented and qualified pool of candidates for succession planning purposes. This enables a more robust planning process than creating a simple list of back-up candidates and ensures each person has the skills necessary to handle his or her new job when the time comes. For more information on succession planning, please contact us for an onsite demo. 

Using Career Paths to Effectively Address Skill Gaps

Approximately 10,000 baby boomers retire each day in the United States. That’s about 30,000 skilled workers per month. And, while there are around 8.7 million people available for work in this country, there are far fewer who have the skills to fill those openings left behind by the Boomers.

Would the third of the above figures be applicable to this ME/GCC Region? 

Skill gaps cost the U.S. economy about $13 billion per month. To thrive in their industries, companies must address these gaps. Doing so means partnering with educational and development organizations and doing one thing many companies just don’t know how to do—creating the talent needed for key roles by training and promoting the candidates already available.

Nearly three out of four U.S. employees are open to hearing about new opportunities, according to latest surveys. Effective companies will harness those wandering eyes—and ensure their own success­—by providing the opportunity for employees to grow and advance past their current roles within their current companies.

Many employees don’t believe they are capable of advancement, because they don’t have the information necessary to move along their career paths. This keeps employees in a holding pattern, which kills engagement, and hinders employers’ abilities to move talent into essential open roles. By providing the right resources and visibility into open roles and competencies, employers can address these obstacles, helping employees obtain the information they need and filling needed skill shortages at the same time. An effective career pathing program is key.

Managers often are able to point employees in the right direction by offering information on major skills shortages or providing access to learning resources. Many times, however, the gaps between where an employee is and where he or she wants to go are small and numerous. A manager may not have the time or the knowledge needed to be able to point out them all.

A comprehensive career pathing software program, however, can look at an employee’s individual talent profile and then compare his or her current competencies, piece by piece, to the competencies required for success in the individual employee’s specific next step. This provides the employee with extensive knowledge into the gaps that need to be filled, an extensiveness that would simply take too much of a manager’s limited resources to achieve. It also enables managers to focus their attentions on what gets the best results—coaching.

Managers can utilize the software’s detailed gap analyses to walk employees through the skills needed for advancement at a level that best fosters understanding and development. Managers also can use the detailed analyses to better track employees’ progress toward their goals and to help employees see where and how they’re making the most progress. This reduces learning time and propels employees along their chosen paths at a faster rate.

Such software also provides additional, targeted learning resources for addressing gaps, instantly putting the power of advancement into the employee’s hands. This enables employees to take immediate action to improve their skill set via mentoring, coaching, and additional training. Such motivation plus the tools necessary to realize those ambitions equals an unstoppable force for employees and companies alike.

Road to Career Pathing in Your Organization

Starting a career pathing program at your organization is not a difficult journey but there are checkpoints that need to be reached in order to complete the trip to your final destination. View this infographic to learn where you need to go and what you need to do when you’re on The Road to Career Pathing In Your Organization!


Ladder or Lattice? Which Career Development Strategy is Best for Your Employees

Career development is essentialto today’s workers. Employees are eager to grow in their careers and advance within their organizations. Companies unable to facilitate that growth will continue to be plagued with engagement and retention problems. There are two main options for moving a career forward – up the career ladder or through the career lattice. But what does that growth look like?

The first is the traditional ladder model. Climbing the ladder is a vertical approach that is best suited for highly specialized careers and employees who are already in a particular field and know exactly what role inside that field they want to have in the future. This approach offers employees the chance to become experts in their chosen field, and progression along the chosen career path is logical and easily flows from one position to the next. However, this also limit’s the employee’s overall perspective of the company and movements up the ladder may be restricted based on companywide tenure rates and size. Roles along this route also tend to be more rigidly established, meaning work/life balance and personal fulfillment may be more difficult to achieve. This may be why increasing numbers of employees are choosing to look at their career progressions as occurring on a lattice rather than a ladder.

A career lattice offers employees variety and extensive opportunities for meeting new challenges, two things Millennial workers—in particular— find necessary for active engagement. Movements may be vertical, lateral, or diagonal, which places countless job roles on each employee’s potential career path instead of just a few. The lattice also avoids the limited perspective pitfalls of the ladder. The lattice’s broad moves across departments and functional areas enable employees to gain cross-functional skills that will put them ahead of their peers in general tasks and benefit them in many roles. It also enables employees to reframe those roles to better fit their personal ideal work/life balance—an issue especially important to women. Approximately 60% of female workers say work/life balance is “very important.”

The lattice’s greatest challenge, however, is that employees don’t know how to build it and do not have access to various progression. Even if they are fully aware of which roles and departments they want to experience, they are generally unaware of what skills gaps will need to be addressed to move between them, how to fill those gaps, and which order of movements is most beneficial for their specific long-term goals.

A robust career pathing software brings transparency and know-how to the career development process. Such software utilizes a systematic approach to career development, enabling employees to map multiple career path scenarios, review job competencies, and evaluate skill gaps. By giving employees the career pathing tools necessary to chart their career progression, they become more engaged in their roles and the development of their careers. The most effective also dynamically match employees with their next best role, depending on where they are at the moment.

Lattice or ladder, however, one thing is certain: Employees want a clear path forward. They want to broaden their horizons, grow in their careers, and excel in new challenges. Companies that understand how to help employees navigate their will be rewarded with high retention and increased engagement. To learn more about effective career development best practices, view our Learning Center.

How to Help Employees Develop Career Paths

Employees want to understand what is required of them to change roles or advance in their careers but the necessary processes may not be in place. By understanding how to help employees develop career paths, you will soon be able to provide employees with a clear road map to career development and growth. If employees are left to guess and wonder what steps they need to take, you will likely find them moving to another company that can meet their needs.

As the job market and economy improve, the number of employees willing to leave their positions and companies for greener pastures is climbing. January 2017 saw an increase in voluntary separations compared to the months before, and 51% of employed personnel in the U.S. are actively seeking or watching for new openings. The data taken together—and combined with the general low tenure rate for Millennial workers—clearly show one thing: retention may be one of 2017’s biggest human resources problems. If companies don’t partner with their employees to achieve individual career goals, those employees will leave.

An effective human resources department will be that partner—assisting employees in creating and navigating their desired career paths. To be that partner, however, HR must be able to do the following:

  • Provide employees with access to job role data
  • Help employees objectively assess their skills, strengths, and weaknesses
  • Offer a method for comparing employees’ current tactics to future roles
  • Provide access to mentoring, coaching, and learning resources that work for a variety of learning styles
  • Offer opportunities to test out newly acquired skills in a team environment
  • Support lateral and vertical moves in each unique career path when employees are ready

An effective career pathing process combines these steps into a streamlined, easily accessible program. While a human resources department can achieve the desired results by providing employees with the above information and opportunities on a piecemeal basis, it takes a significant investment of time and resources. It also depends on the availability of the human resources staff at any given time. Accessible and interactive career pathing tools are a more efficient method.

An all-in-one career pathing software program offers employees the opportunity to build and navigate their career paths independently—but with expert guidance. The best programs combine talent profiles, gap analyses, organizational insights, coaching and development, and job searches together, in a dynamic, user-friendly interface. TalentGuard’s also offer customized career paths, including specific information on skills needed for each movement and knowledge on how to acquire those skills, to help employees get from where they are to where they want to be.

Are You Ready to Start a Career Pathing Program?

You know the basics: Career pathing boosts employee engagement, improves retention, and significantly increases customer satisfaction and overall profitability. You’re sold. You want to start implementing a career pathing program at your company today. The only problem is you’re not sure where to start.

See whether you are ready to start a career pathing program by answering the questions below:

1) Do you have job profiles built?

If your company already has job profiles built, fantastic. You’re one step ahead, and you can move on. If not, you have two options: you can build competencies in-house, or you can purchase access to a competency library.

Competencies are clusters of related skills, abilities, personality characteristics, and knowledge that enable a person to be effective in a particular job or situation. Using them to build ajob profile ensures clear communication between managers and employees regarding what it takes to succeed and excel in a specific job or role. Competencies also promote organizational culture by emphasizing a long-term fit between job candidates and positions.

Building competencies in-house requires extensive effort (often 80% of the total time involved in starting the program) that may be better spent launching and implementing the career pathing program. It requires observing each employee in his/her role, personal and/or group interviews, surveys, and behavioral and job analysis. It also can take months – even years – to develop completely, which means problems with disengaged employees and poor retention persist far longer than necessary.

Gaining access to a competency library is much simpler. Instead of spending 80% of your time creating the framework for your program, acquiring a professionally built library reduces creation time to 20%, which reserves your time and resources for where they’re needed most – implementation. A quality competency library will include job families grouped by function and industry; job roles with titles, descriptions, and primary responsibilities; categories of competencies for each job role; proficiency descriptors; and learning references. This enables you to quickly identify, match, and customize the job profiles that best suit your workforce.

2) Have you identified the possible career paths for the job profiles?

If you have, proceed to question three. If not, you again have two options: you can utilize a consulting service to help identify the career paths, or you can utilize in-house services for the process. Identifying paths in-house requires an intimate knowledge of the organization’s succession plans, a thorough analysis of organizational personnel gaps and skills shortages, and detailed research into various career lattices that may stem from each individual job profile. Compiling this information in-house can take months to years of dedicated work. Utilizing consultants already familiar with the career pathing process enables you to focus on the overall architecture of your program instead of the minute details and ensures you get the most important things right. It also moves you more quickly to launch – reducing the time and resources involved in creating a career pathing program by more than 50%.

3) Are your progression paths defined?

Career paths must be visual for best utilization. Employees need to be able to see where they’re at, where they’re going, and how to get there. Spreadsheet-based programs can be used to visually map static paths from one job role to another. However, interactive maps that change and mold to each individual employee are considered much more effective.

These maps take your employees’ personal profile – strengths, weaknesses, skills, desires, and personality characteristics – and dynamically match it to various career paths, enabling the employee to choose or create a new path at a moment’s notice. Customized career pathing software combines job profiles, information on your company’s organizational structure, and your employees’ talent profiles to create immediate, customizable, and dynamic career paths for each individual employee. Such software can also identify skill gaps and offer coaching and development recommendations for filling those gaps. To see career pathing software in action, schedule a demo today.

That’s it. Once you’ve built job profiles, identified the possible career paths in your company, and define progression paths, you’re ready to launch your official career pathing program.

To schedule an on-site demo please contact us through form below or info@hr-email.com

One Performance Management Change That Can Boost Employee Engagement and Performance

Despite the changes many companies are making in performance management models, 58% of executives still believe their current approach has little positive effect on the two things performance management is meant to drive: employee engagement and high performance. They’re right. In fact, many models are accomplishing the opposite.

Sixty-eight percent of today’s employees report that their company’s performance model has either no effect or a negative effect on their overall engagement. Fifty percent also say it fails to provide any insights into improving their performance, and thirty percent see management’s salary decisions as arbitrary, with little ties to employees’ individual work.

With more than 50% of companies having changed their performance management models in the past two to three years, that’s disappointing. Research indicates, however, that these models – even the newer ones – may be failing because of one simple mistake: They aren’t focused on coaching.

According to research, career and employee development continues to be overlooked by nearly two-thirds of companies, and employees are noticing. Only 20% of people surveyed thought their company’s performance management model supported career planning, and only 1 in 3 surveyed reported having even one discussion that year focused on career opportunities and growth.

These numbers change, however, often substantially, when a coaching-centered performance management model is implemented. Coaching, according to research, generates quantitative, long-term benefits to both employers and employees. Most importantly, it increases the holy grail of HR – employee engagement, with 50% of coached employees believing they’re more engaged because of their company’s performance management (compared to 21%). It also improves performance by empowering employees with actual insights into their performance. (Seventy-two percent of coached employees reported insights versus 32% of those who didn’t receive coaching.)

Coached employees also respond more favorably to feedback, believing a program that includes coaching more accurately measures their individual performance (55% compared to 26%). One out of two employees who receive coaching throughout the year feel positively about their end-of-year review compared to 1 in 5 who don’t. Coached employees also are significantly more likely to find the process fair (73% of coached employees compared to 45%) and effective.

As the numbers show, coaching works. So why isn’t everyone doing it? Hesitation to add another change to an ever-shifting performance management model may be the cause, but implementing a coaching program doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming. Research indicates that simply shifting company culture to better support two-way communication goes a long way.

Encourage managers to talk to their employees about their careers, and to show confidence in employees’ abilities. Offer insight into opportunities for growth and ways each individual can advance. Support high potentials who want to excel with feedback on goals and strategy, extra resources, and training tools. Want to take it a step further? Download: Career Pathing: Is It the New Performance Appraisal?

3 Steps to Better Performance Management

The days of the traditional performance review are behind us. Today, 75% of companies surveyed either have switched, are switching, or are planning to switch to a more updated performance model in an effort to boost employee engagement and drive productivity. Defining that model, however, is a difficult task, as each organization is unique. Following these three steps, however, will ensure an effective transition.

1) Increase Transparency. Employees can better align themselves and their goals with company values and benchmarks when they have a clear understanding of how embodying those values and meeting those benchmarks impacts their day-to-day work life and their overall compensation package.

Ask yourself whether all of your company’s employees can fully explain the organization’s performance management process and the link between their overall performance and their pay. Do they know what all the benchmarks are and how they were chosen? If not, consider filling in those gaps in knowledge with clear explanations.

Transparency builds trust, and trust is a crucial element to organizational success. High trust in the workplace not only makes a company a top-ranked place to work, it also makes a company more than two-and-a-half times more likely to be a high performing revenue organization. The most trustworthy also have been found to consistently outperform the S&P 500. That’s a high reward for a little clear communication.

2) Build a Mentoring Culture. With increased transparency, employees have all the knowledge they need to know how they’re doing in their current roles and what they need to accomplish to grow in those roles and/or to take on new ones. However, if they don’t have any way to act on that knowledge, it won’t be of much use. Creating a mentoring culture, however, ensures they can put their knowledge to good use by asking for feedback or coaching when they need it.

Make sure they have access to educational resources, including experienced members of your team. Most companies focus too much on formal education and career development, when research shows that approximately 80% of learning takes place in an informal environment. A mentoring culture helps adjust this error by encouraging questions, discussions among peers, and on-the-job learning.

3) Give Employees the Wheel. Once you prioritize transparency and foster a mentoring culture, your employees will know where the company is and where it wants to go. They’ll also have the tools and resources necessary to help you get there. Once they have that knowledge and opportunity, it’s easy for them to adjust their day-to-day tasks to propel the company forward. Don’t tell them how to do their jobs. Tell them what you want the company to achieve, and let them figure out how to get you there. The more active your employees, the higher their engagement, their performance, and your overall productivity.

Transitioning from a traditional performance management model doesn’t have to be difficult. Implement these three steps, and watch your company culture, performance, and revenues bloom.

For more information on TalentGuard in Middle East or to schedule a demo please contact us for a call-back.

Is Your Performance Management Process Adapting to the Times?

What drives your employees, and how do you harness that drive to benefit company culture and profitability? Traditional models of performance management say you do it by offering financial rewards based on the accomplishment of yearly goals, and that model has survived for decades, despite research that indicates only about half of people think such a model has any positive effect on an organization. (This may also be why only 28% of people surveyed in 2013 considered their organizations’ performance management processes effective, and why 71% considered those processes unfair.)

Performance management, however, is an ever-evolving process. Prior to 2015, nearly every company surveyed used the traditional annual review as their primary method of performance management. In 2013, however, more than three-fourths of companies also said they had recently made or where planning to make significant changes to their performance management models. In 2014, though, more than half said they thought performance management in general was an ineffective use of time.

Basically, though the systems kept evolving, no one thought the changes were doing much good. Employee engagement was still dismal, with numbers hovering near 30%, performance continued to lag, and retention rates were still low. In a country where the companies with the highest employee engagement also are 21% more profitable and 17% more profitable than those with the lowest engagement, that’s a major concern.

In 2016, about 33% of companies are replacing their traditional performance management processes with new, continuous feedback models in an effort to boost engagement and overall performance. Another 70% are on their way toward such a move, according to researchers. The question now is will it work?

Quite possibly. According to studies, only about half of employees believe they know what’s expected of them at work. This means that even if they are motivated and energetic, they may be advancing the wrong initiatives and failing to add value where its needed most. After a while, engagement declines, and performance falls even lower. A continuous feedback model, unlike the traditional annual review, would catch this issue quickly, offering instant feedback and clear expectations so employees can adjust goals, harness their energy effectively, and be of greater use to the company.

Adding strengths-based development to a continuous feedback model, (i.e. focusing on an employee’s strengths instead of weaknesses during feedback), is even more effective. According to Gallup, employee engagement doubles (jumping from 33 to 67%) when employees feel their managers focus on their strengths and positive characteristics. (Conversely, engagement drops to a mere 2% when employees strongly believe their managers focus on their weaknesses.)

As expected, when engagement improves, so does performance. In one study, 90% of companies who coupled a continuous feedback model with strengths-based development saw a significant increase in performance, with average increases of 9% in sales, 15% in profit, and 4% customer engagement. Turnover rates also declined.

So, what drives employees, and how do we harness that drive to benefit company culture and profitability?  The answers aren’t the annual review.  Rethinking performance management, however, seems to offer some real results, especially when companies offer continuous feedback focused on individual employees’ strengths.

To learn more about how you can improve your performance management process, please view the following resources:

Webinar: Career Pathing: Is it the New Performance Appraisal?