How to Build Successful Career Progression Plans?

How to Build Successful Career Progression Plans?

As an employer, you always want to hire the best candidate for your organization. You look for their educational background, skill, and experience before hiring and want the employee to do the job with integrity. Similarly, an employee also has many thoughts when they join an organization. Knowing the career progression plan is essential for every employee. They will have many questions like, "When will I get promoted? or What is the career growth hierarchy?" Your employees may want answers to these pertinent questions.

Employees lose motivation in the job and start looking for new opportunities when their employer doesn't offer a career development plan. If you are hiring developers, it's crucial to inform them of a career path plan. Top software engineers are ambitious and want to know about their growth prospects. This article discusses the importance of offering a career advancement plan and how to craft the perfect career progression for your developers.

What is a career development plan?

A career development plan is an employee's career path for professional growth. Top organizations offer a plan for every employee to grow in their career within or outside the organization. Companies may have similar or different career growth plans, but promotion is a common growth indicator. Skill development and salary hikes usually come with promotion.

However, some companies may have other ways to offer career growth plans. Well-defined career progression plans help your employees visualize their professional growth and work towards that.

Why is it essential to offer a career path?

Many employees leave their current jobs because their employers don't offer a clear growth plan. A recent survey of 13382 employees from the United States, Canada, Australia, India, the UK, and Singapore shows about 41% of employees left their job because of a lack of career growth. So, every business must offer a career development plan that aligns employees' growth with the company's objectives. Here are the top reasons you should have a career growth path for your employees.

Helps attract top talent

Every employee wants to grow in their profession and specifically software developers. These technology professionals are very ambitious and want to grow rapidly in their careers. If you fail to offer a long-term career goal, you won't be able to attract the best talents, and your top employees will move to other organizations.

A well-defined career progression plan enables you to retain your current workers and hire top developers from across the globe. Your employees feel valued, and it shows that you care for their career growth.

It sets a standard of exceptional performance

A career plan defines the growth ladder for the employees and ensures they need to deliver performance according to that to move to the next level. They also need to develop specific skills and behaviors for the next level. The plan also explains what is considered exceptional work. Some companies want their employees to work for a minimum period in each role to move to the next level. It sets performance standards for the employees, and they strive to achieve that.

Improves employee engagement

Many companies offer a salary hike to retain disgruntled employees. This strategy can work in some cases, but most developers won't be happy with just a salary hike. They need more than that. Employee engagement and job satisfaction depend on many other factors, and a career development plan is a crucial one. An Oxford University study shows that happy employees are 13% more productive. Your employees will engage more when you offer a clear growth path.

Increases employee retention

An efficient employee is an asset to every organization, and you should value them. Top developers love challenges and develop exciting solutions for customers. You must retain these employees to grow your business, but it is challenging. However, a well-structured career development plan provides growth opportunities for your employees and helps you retain them.

Create effective learning & development (L&D) plans

Defining a career path framework enables employees to identify the skill gaps that delay their career growth. It also helps employers understand their employees' needs and arrange training programs to enhance their skills and meet the job requirements. The best way to do it is to assign a mentor for every employee to identify the scope of improvements and design a skill development program accordingly.

Helps in succession planning

Creating a funnel of potential successors for developers is essential for businesses. You never know when a top-performing engineer may quit due to various reasons. Career progression plans enable a company to identify the skill required for those positions and help you avoid the hassle of hiring and training employees from outside. It ensures the organization can continue to deliver exceptional results even if some top-performing developers leave the job suddenly.

5 steps for building a successful career progression plan

Employers often ask candidates the question, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” This question sounds vague without support from the employer. Many candidates are unsure about that, but you should offer a career path plan that attracts your potential employee. Here are the 5 steps of career planning for your employees.

5 steps for building a successful career progression plan

Create an organizational chart

When you set out on a trip, you know the destination. Similarly, your employees need to know their career path to work in that direction. Creating an organizational chart is the first step of career progression plans that helps employees know the hierarchy of the career path. The chart must include the employee structure of the company in every position. It will streamline the career path for each employee and let them know their next levels.

Evaluating employees

Evaluating the employees is essential to devising career progression plans for your employees. It enables them to know where they stand and which career path will be the most suitable for them. Meanwhile, you can also figure out their strengths and weaknesses and design a career development program that will assist them to grow in their career. Meet your employees and discuss the following questions to understand every employee.

  • How well do they perform in their current role?
  • What is their career goal, and what will help them achieve it?
  • Do they have the skill and personality to move to the next level?

Define clear roles for every position

Whether in an entry-level or managerial position, employees at every level must perform specific duties. Knowing the task your employees have to do in the future gives them clarity to choose the best path for them. Besides that, defining the following things will answer your employees' potential questions about their career progression plans.

  • The title
  • The tasks they need to perform
  • The expectations you have

It is also crucial to mention the performance, skill, and experience they need to move to the next level.

Create and implement a training program

It is another crucial part of your employees' career progression plans. Once you and your employees know how they have performed and where the skill gap is, you need to create a training program and implement it to upgrade their skills and prepare for the next level. Every employee has strengths and weaknesses, and keeping that in mind is essential while formulating the skill enhancement program. Your workers may also need mentorship from the seniors when they start implementing their learning in their work.

Review and revise the program when necessary

Career progression plans aim to ensure every employee gets the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and reach the next level at the earliest. The program can't be successful if most employees fail to achieve the desired result. You have to find answers to the questions like "why isn't the program successful?", where is the scope of improvement to achieve the results?

That's why reviewing and revising it is indispensable to ensure everyone benefits from it. When it comes to developers, you must ensure the training is aligned with the developer's interest and the latest trends in software development.


When you provide your employees with excellent career progression plans, they gain more confidence and feel motivated to deliver the best results. Allow your developers to learn new technologies and showcase their skills. Building an employee development program aligned with their interests will ensure they excel in their respective fields and stay longer with your organization.

Talented software developers are in high demand, and companies compete to hire them. Turing offers you the opportunity to hire high-skilled developers from across the globe. Sign up with Turing to spin up your dream engineering team.


  • Author

    Subhasish Dutta

    Subhasish is a science graduate but a passionate writer and wordsmith who writes website content, blogs, articles, and social media content on technologies, the equity market, traveling, and other domains. He has worked with Affnosys and FTI Technologies as a content writer.

Frequently Asked Questions

A career development plan helps your workers learn new skills for their current and upcoming roles in your company. It helps you retain your employees, thus reducing the replacement cost. However, creating the right plan is not easy. Here is a step-by-step method to create an employee development plan.

  • Analyze the skill gap
  • Identify employees for career growth
  • Align employee development plan with company goals
  • Arrange training programs for learning new skills relevant to the current and future roles
  • Track results and use data to make your decisions

The SMART goals for professional development provide training managers with a clear guideline for an effective training program that helps employees develop new skills for their present and future roles. SMART is an acronym that stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-framed goals. It helps managers create a training program for professional development of every employee.

A career development plan for your employees may look different since they can have different skills and interests. However, a few things are common while writing a career growth plan. You need to consider your business goals, and employees’ professional goals, and develop an action plan to achieve those goals. Here is an example of how you can write a career development plan for your employees.

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