What are Pathways?
Pathways usually contain current positions and responsibilities, as well as a “pathway” of new milestones, trainings, evaluations, and feedback in order to progress within the organization. Ideally, pathways should exist for each candidate, employee, and position within your company.
Pathways help maintain transparency between the employee and employer. When pathways are clearly laid out, you’re able to clearly know what your responsibilities are and what you need to complete in order to progress upward in the ranks. This will allow you to work more productively and deliver better results for the company you work with. Your employer will easily be able to know what what skills you possess and what roles you can fill.
Having a pathway will directly impact your ability to perform and your success in the company. Let’s get into some more details about how your company can benefit from setting up your own pathways.
Benefits of Pathways
Smoother Hiring Process
Hiring managers have to go through a lot of resumes and it can be hard to stand out sometimes when hundreds of people, with similar resumes, are applying for the same job. Having pathways in place will lower the chance of bias during the hiring process and give all candidates an equal playing field. Britta Greenhalgh, ProSky's very own Candidate Coordinator says:
These pathways are great for hiring managers because they can pick the best candidate for the job. By being part of a pathway, candidates are able to complete challenges and projects that showcase the skills they have such as marketing, coding, leadership, hard work, and so on.
As a candidate, if the company you apply for has pathways, you can expect a chance to work together with their current employees to complete a project and showcase your skills. You are able to show how well you work with others which is very important in a work setting because you will be dealing with customers, employees, and employers. Take this opportunity to work hard and distinguish yourself from the other candidates.
Pathways can help you understand your role in the company.
As a candidate during hiring, it helps you know what comes next in the process (i.e. interview, skill evaluation, upload personal documents) You can see what still needs to be done in order to get hired and even receive feedback on your progress.
As an employee, everything becomes more clear when you are on a pathway. Your role in the company is clearly defined, and you have a list of all responsibilities along with corresponding goals and key indicators to hit.
An added benefit is you also know what is needed for your next advancement or promotion within the company. The training you need to complete, skills you need to learn, projects and milestones to hit before your pay evaluation are all listed out clearly.
No more working with no end in sight wondering when you’ll get that promotion! All of your hard work is focused toward a purpose.
Pathways can help you find a Mentor
Having a mentor is a great way to grow and progress in your career. Finding the right mentor who can provide knowledge and help nurture you in your chosen profession can be a big game changer! There are many benefits to having someone who can encourage you and stimulate your professional/personal growth.
Because pathways lists out all of the job roles and growth placement within the company, it is a very helpful tool when finding a mentor. As you progress along your chosen path, you’ll be able to see those who came before you or those who are in the position you are working toward achieving. This is a great opportunity to reach out and start forming a bond with those who have experience! Your employer can also assign mentors based on what your pathway requires to progress.
Chances are, your mentor has been through what you are going through and they will have advice to help you avoid making the same mistakes they have in the past. They’ll also be able to assist you with skills development and finishing your projects. As you work to complete goals and reach milestones on your pathway, your mentor can advise you and even pave the path for you by providing suggestions and network opportunities.
Pathways can improve your Evaluations
Pathway evaluations are similar to your typical evaluations that take place on a regular basis. However, unlike your typical evaluations, you’ll know everything you’ll be evaluated on ahead of time! No more awkward questions to answer or being asked about things you didn’t know you would be evaluated on. Your entire evaluation will be based on your performance and backed up with data which will decrease the chances of office politics and bias being involved. During these evaluations is your time to shine! You’ll be able to show exactly what you accomplished during that time period and all the milestones you were able to reach. If there were some goals that you didn’t quite hit, it’s a great time to open up discussion on it and talk about ways to improve or adjust for the next period.
This is also a great time to communicate with your manager to see the health of the company and growth opportunities. Take this chance to see what the company’s overall goals are and how your role in the company will help them achieve those goals.
How to be Proactive in Pathways
When being evaluated during hiring, take advantage of that time to get to know more about the company, its culture and its processes. Think to yourself, is this somewhere I want to be working for the next 5 years? Will it let me hit my personal goals and help me learn new skills that I can grow and be happy with? Britta Greenhalgh gives her input saying,
One thing you have to be aware as a candidate is you do have to put in the work. Candidates need to make sure they are proactive by completing each milestone on time, work effectively with their team and establish a good relationship with their team leader/manager. Final tip to remember is that PROCRASTINATION is your worst enemy.
As an employee, pathways help you see where there is room for improvement. For example, if you are on a content editor pathway and find yourself lacking necessary analytic skills to do your job properly, you can better study and prepare before you are evaluated on it. Check and see if your company will provide reimbursement or time to take courses outside of work, or even look up some online videos during your personal time to prepare yourself better and fill in the gaps in your skillset.
Goal Setting and Hitting
Your manager will set goals and KPIs together with you during your scheduled pathways meeting. This will usually be based around the company’s minimum needed numbers to be profitable. The most important part of being proactive is hitting and even surpassing these goals! Don’t become complacent after you’ve reached the minimum.
If you find yourself unable to hit your goal in some categories, that is a good indicator of something you should be working to improve on. Communicate with your manager as early as possible before your evaluation to make them aware of the situation and take the necessary actions. Don’t ever falsify numbers for the sake of hitting goals! Even if it’s really far from your expected number, you’ll be better off owning up to your low numbers as long as you put in your full effort.
If find yourself consistently failing to hit a goal or multiple goals during each period, this pathway may not be for you. Keep in mind that Pathways can usually be adjusted based on your needs and interests. Just like in life, your pathway is your own to choose! Take control of it and make it what you want. If you feel like the pathway is heading toward somewhere you don’t want to go, talk to your manager and make the necessary changes that will balance the company’s needs with your own abilities.
If you’re having a tough time, it’s good to seek mentorship from within your company. Ask more experienced employees for help or advice on how to improve or be better in the role. Ideally, there will be someone who filled your role in the past who may have lots of great advice to help you succeed. Correlate with your manager so that your goals are adjusted properly and reachable with enough effort.
Continually refer back to your pathway so that it is on the top of your mind. If the company you work for hasn’t started using Pathways in their organization yet, you should definitely recommend they start! Encourage your manager to meet with our specialists and get a demo of ProSky's platform today.