Map out Career Pathways and Manufacture Better Employees

Article excerpt

Byline: WORKPLACE MATTERS By Robin Onaclea For blue chip

Faced with difficulties in recruiting workers with the right mix of skills, businesses increasingly are investing in training their employees.

Many companies develop career pathway or career progression programs that support the movement and growth of entry- and midlevel workers. With most businesses also facing an aging work force, these programs can dovetail nicely with succession planning to support the development and upward mobility of current employees.

VersaLogic, the Eugene-based embedded computer manufacturer, is an example of a company that has faced challenges in finding candidates with technical skills and experience in their specialized area. It has developed clearly defined career paths and regularly chooses to invest in training its current employees to fill critical vacancies.

Golden Temple, a Eugene-based foods maker, also values growing its own work force. It has promoted 73 people from within in the past year.

Peace Harbor Hospital in Florence began a career pathways initiative in 2002, when it faced a crisis in finding skilled medical personnel in the area. With the help of the Lane Workforce Partnership, career maps showing how employees can advance were developed for the hospital.

These maps were replicated later for the larger PeaceHealth hospital in Eugene. Cathleen Coontz, human resources supervisor for PeaceHealth, says developing and supporting a career pathway model has been vital to the growth of its employees, its organization and its patient care model.

"By making information on career progression readily available through our internal online system, as well as in face-to-face career advising, we are able to better invest in our staff, and in turn, they have become more engaged in the organization."

PeaceHealth's career mapping experience inspired other local health care organizations to join it in creating a larger, integrated career pathway map.

One of the first steps in identifying your organization's career pathways is to map out step-by-step skill progressions in a job category or classification. …