Painting a Progression Roadmap


Author: Mark Savinson

Mark Savinson, CEO of Strategy to Revenue, breaks down how to foster internal mobility and secure workforce loyalty.


OK, so we all know that we must fix our employee retention issues, but what does this really mean and how can we do it?

Everyone is telling us that our employees are revisiting their career choices and putting personal fulfilment above money. You’d think this might be a generational issue, but all generations in the post pandemic workplace are feeling this.

The implication of this is that solely offering more money, whilst tempting in the short term, will not address the root causes behind the desire to move. So, what can we do to lock employee loyalty?

The data is out there to give us a clue. The LinkedIn Forward Skills/Talent 2022-2025 webinar showed that employees who feel their skills are not being put to good use are 10 times more likely to look for a new job, while companies that excel at internal mobility retain employees twice as long. In simple terms - “If I can see an interesting future that appeals to me, I’m more likely to stay!”

But what does this actually mean? Is it merely the offer of training or is it something more fundamental? Do we have to offer greater clarity to our employees as to the required knowledge, skills and behaviours they need to not only do their currently job effectively, but to progress? Should paint them a picture of their potential career path and how to get there? Finally, do we let self-starters figure it out for themselves?

Here at Strategy to Revenue, we truly believe that organisations need to focus on having clear definitions of the desired role outcomes (as Stephen Covey would say, “Start with the end in mind”) then identify the activities that deliver the outcomes, before translating these into the required knowledge skills and behaviours to deliver those activities. Or, for those who prefer a more ‘management speak’ description, ‘Create a skills-based culture’.

From here, you can onboard and develop people to excel at their current roles and show pathways to future roles, fostering internal mobility. Progression roadmaps as a determinator of employee retention is also touched on in McKinsey’s quarterly article: ‘Insights on People and Organizational Performance’.

Clearly the idea is great, but the trick is how to operationalise this type of approach. There are seven steps:

  1. Run a discovery to define the end goals - the activities that will deliver the desired outcomes.
  2. Translate this into a clear set of required knowledge, skills, and behaviours. You may wish to call this a competency model.
  3. Build a series of measurable behavioural statements that will help you objectively identify how people use the knowledge, skills, and behaviours to deliver activities.
  4. Map the target statements to the requirements of the roles.
  5. Use the behavioural statements to identify what people currently do.
  6. Map ‘current’ state results against ‘desired’ state for roles to create personal development pathways for existing and future roles.
  7. Ensure you have developmental content/activities to fill gaps.
This is not an old-school theoretical approach. It is the approach we at Strategy to Revenue have helped clients to execute. We have the Kompetently® platform, which can operationalise the whole process, and for those clients who need help, we provide Professional Services to help do the Discovery, Build the Competency Model, Write the Behavioural Statements, and Map to Roles stages. For those in Sales and Management we can even provide learning content.

If you want to find out how we do it and how we have helped organisations such as LSEG, Aveva, DP DHL, contact us today.

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