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    Winter-2016  


More Organizations Emphasizing Career Opportunities For Managing, Rewarding Talent

As organizations navigate recovery from the recession with limited resources, they are focused on rewarding critical talent by providing attractive growth opportunities for their key employees.

To create opportunities within and across the organization, career frameworks are becoming a popular tool since they help identify paths that prepare employees for high-impact roles and provide effective rewards management.

Mercer’s Career Framework Practices Survey examines how organizations are defining and applying career frameworks to more effectively value jobs and to bridge the connection between how talent is developed, managed and rewarded.

According to the survey, within the next year nearly 60% of participating organizations plan to design and implement a new career framework – an organization-wide series of career levels with accountabilities and competencies that guide individual growth. Moreover, the majority (84%) of these organizations are employers that do not have a framework in place already.

“Mercer believes that defining and valuing jobs in the context of job families and levels, both to drive rewards and articulate career progression, can play a pivotal role in a company’s talent management strategy,” said Mary Ann Sardone, Partner in Mercer’s Rewards practice. “A career framework enables employees to understand their options and associated rewards while allowing the company to structure pay plans and build a talent pipeline that contribute to the overall growth of the business.”

Among those organizations that have a career framework, most often the framework supports all or most of the organization (as opposed to specific jobs, functions or business units) and is directly linked to talent management and rewards. Mercer’s survey shows that 70% of participating organizations reported a connection between career levels and salary grades or bands.

Moreover, nearly two-thirds of the organizations surveyed indicated their career framework drives career pathing and succession planning (64% and 60%, respectively), while half (50%) link career frameworks to multiple programs such as rewards, performance management and job titling. See Figure 1.

“Career frameworks can be effective in building workforce capabilities that align with the company’s talent management needs,” said Tonushree Mondal, North America Leader for Mercer’s Leadership and Organization Performance practice. “By connecting frameworks to multiple programs like rewards, performance management, and training and development, employers can identify how much to invest in specific initiatives to achieve the desired level of return.”

 

Despite the benefits of career frameworks, organizational culture and lack of effective communication are common obstacles to their success. According to Mercer’s survey, the biggest challenge employers face when implementing a career framework is lack of expertise by management in carrying out meaningful career development discussions with employees, reported by more than half (51%) of participating organizations. This challenge is followed by concerns that employees place greater emphasis on salary grades than career levels and that the culture of the organization is a stumbling block, reported by 32% and 26%, respectively.

“The issue most companies are dealing with is how to provide greater opportunities for their technical talent to grow, develop and contribute so that they do not assume that the managerial or leadership track is the only way to be successful," added Ms. Mondal. "The career framework is designed to be communicated in simple terms so employees have clear expectations at each level. It can help drive individual employee performance and thus help achieve overall business success.”

Mercer’s survey includes responses from more than 420 employers across all industries in the US and Canada.

 


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