Career ladder

A visualization of anti-growth mindset

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Career ladder is a great tool for cultivating growth mindset in an organization:

Unfortunately many companies fail to take full advantage of this tool. Let’s visualize some of the common mistakes.

Hidden

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The tool is there but it fails to serve most employees

Vague criteria

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Frustrating to navigate: people are often misplaced (or so it seems)

Too few steps

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Does not support gradual growth, employees get stuck on the same step (often the step they started at)

Too short

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Puts a hard cap on the growth and demotivates employees

Not connected to compensation

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Acknowledges going above and beyond but fails to compensate the extra effort

Glass ceiling

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Has non-obvious (often unfair) rules for how far one can go up

Biased promotion

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Lifts some with minimum effort (particularly those who resembles the promoters)

Favors shouters

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Promotes shouting. Fails to set an example of those who just do their job.

Forces lane change

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Forces the employees to change teams or type of responsibilities to climb up

Constant reorg

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Some end up holding tight. Others keep jumping between irrelevant positions.

Bureaucratic promotion

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There is so much process around promotion that hardly anyone climbs

Pyramid

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Set up to intentionally make it harder and more cumbersome to grow. Therefore the majority of the employees are at the lower levels and the culture they build eats the strategy for breakfast!

Low bar

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When the business itself doesn’t have the capacity of growth, any effort put into growth may lead the employees to become “too good” and leave

Unused

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Not part of evaluation process or development talk

Absent

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Screams “growth is not supported here”! (lack of growth mindset at the leadership level)

Written by

Knowledge Worker, MSc Systems Engineering, Tech Lead, Web Developer

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