Guide to creating Career Paths

A step by step guide to creating career paths and competency frameworks

Jessie Walsh avatar
Written by Jessie Walsh
Updated over a week ago

What can I learn from this page?

A step by step guide to creating career paths and competency frameworks

Who is this guide for?

Account Admins

With Career Paths you create clear career pathways that help employees see their future at their company.

Step 1 - Create job groups, tracks and roles

Define the structure of your organization in terms of ‘job groups’, ‘tracks’, and ‘roles’

  • A job group is a set of roles in a common functional area with related core knowledge and expertise (e.g., Product Management, Sales, Engineering). You might call them functions, disciplines, practices or something else.

  • Each job group can be divided into tracks. A track defines the progression of roles in a particular area of expertise - for example many job groups have a ‘specialist’ track and a ‘leadership’ track.

  • Each track is made up of roles. A role is a single job level within a track (i.e Product designer level 3 or “Senior product designer”).

  • You can customize the role level labels to match your internal job codes (e.g. M-1, M-2, etc). If you choose not to customize the role level, the default format will be L1 to L-N.

You might choose to define every job group in your organization or a subset of roles until you are comfortable with the process.

We recommend starting with a general job group such as “all employees” before creating function specific job groups like “engineering” or “sales”. This gives all employees a starting point to understand the progression of expectations even if their specific job group hasn’t been added to the platform. Our ready made competencies make this easy.

Product management job group example 👇

Note: It is not possible to re-assign job roles to different tracks once created. They need to be recreated under the correct track instead.

Step 2 - Create a library of leveled competencies

Create a library of leveled competencies to be applied to the job groups roles you created in step one.

We support two types of competencies:

  • Shared competencies are broadly applicable across many job groups. These competencies can be centrally managed and maintained, so they can be used by any job group, but changes are reflected everywhere.

  • Role-specific competencies are scoped to a single job group. For example, the competency “product strategy” is unique to the product management job group. These have the flexibility to make changes that won’t affect other job groups. They also allow you to tailor the number of levels to suit the specific needs of the job group or track without the need for consistent job leveling organization wide.

💡Tip: You can access a library of ready-made competency templates that have been curated by Culture Amp's people science team. The downloadable resources include over 100 competencies linked to 12 common job groups ranging from "People and Culture" through to "Sales" and "Engineering". You can use these competencies as a starting point when defining expectations for specific roles. Once you have refined and confirmed the competency sets you will use for your organization, you can simply copy and paste the content into Career Paths.

You can define any number of competency levels. A competency level defines the skills, knowledge and behaviors expected at different levels of competency.

Note: While you might help upload competencies to the Culture Amp platform we recommend delegating the creation of role-specific competencies to function leaders. Defining competencies is a power tool for your organization's leaders. It allows them to direct what skills and behaviors employees focus on developing at scale. The competencies they define will eventually be reflected in our development planning tool.

Competency library example 👇

Step 3 - Map competencies to Job groups

You can map competencies to specific job groups by navigating to your desired job group and selecting “add from library” or “create competency”.

If you have created competencies as in step 2, you will be able to access those competencies by selecting “add from library”.

Once you have added your desired competencies to the job group, you can organize those competencies into sections by selecting “add section”. You can drag and drop competencies into any of the sections you have created.

Step 4 - Setting competency levels

Competency frameworks are created by applying competencies and their levels to each role within a job group. This helps employees better understand the expectations of roles across the organization.

You can do this by navigating to the framework tab within a specific job group. Selecting any cell in the framework view will allow you to set the competency level for that role/competency.

Step 5 - Sharing / rolling-out career paths to employees

When you are ready to share a job group with employees you can update the view settings to be visible to all employees.

To do that navigate to the specific job group and select “edit”. Update the setting so that the job group can be seen by “everyone”.

Once updated all employees with access to the culture amp platform will be able to navigate the career paths page to view the job group.

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