Employing the job family model for staff career development Employing the job family model for staff career development

Employing the job family model for staff career development
13 Dec 2017

The ‘job family model’ has been implemented by a number of leading multinational employers, with the aim of introducing a structured process for managing their employees’ career development. Here is a brief guide to what it is and how to get it right:

What is the job family model?

The ‘job family model’ (JFM) is a structured process to help you manage the careers of your employees and provide them with a ‘career roadmap’ to follow. This roadmap acts as a guide for training and development activities. It enables individuals to improve their performance in their existing job role and also helps them prepare for the next step.

Why implement it?

The following table outlines key reasons why you might benefit from this approach:

Driver

Anticipated outcomes

Supports business strategy

The model will help you develop an effective set of integrated people processes to help you attract, develop and retain a high-performing workforce able to meet the company’s current and future business needs.

Enables performance improvement

Professional development plans based on the ‘development curriculum’ will enable you to identify and address competency gaps and areas for development.

Embeds a performance managementbased

culture

It will help you create clearer and more consistent performance measures (eg role profiles, behavioural and technical competencies) and ensure more consistency in managing performance.

Manages career expectations

A ‘career roadmap’ based on ladders and levels in the job family outlines expectations (defined in terms of competencies) in the current role and possible routes for future progression

Provides governance in career

development activities

Sound governance (based on job family councils) over career development ensures equity and fairness. It also identifies business needs, which likewise lead to possible career development opportunities such as heading a project team.

Maintains employee engagement,

motivation and commitment

Employees perceive that opportunities for professional development and career progression are available, which results in improved productivity and higher levels of discretionary effort.

Helps ensure staff retention

The model helps to retain talent and cut expenditure on recruitment, selection, induction and training.

Optimises costs and provides a return on

investment

Training and development opportunities are determined in reference to the ‘training and development curriculum’ and matched to job competencies. This means that training is more appropriate to needs and generates a better return on investment.

Boosts recruitment levels in areas of skills

shortages

The model helps to attract potential employees even into areas where there are skill shortages as potential recruits see that development is provided in a structured way.

 

“A leading international oil & gas company found that establishing a governance committee was key to success when implementing a job family project because it ensured that senior managers were involved and engaged with the process.”

How to implement it

Here is a practical step-by-step guide to help you implement the JFM effectively:

1. Bear in mind that implementing a JFM requires input time-wise from the senior management team, project managers and facilitators;
2. Start by establishing a governance structure. These structures consist of senior management committees that are responsible for developing job family tools and guiding decisions about individual development activities aligned to the needs of the business;
3. Identify job families within your team as well as job family levels and ladders;
4. Develop tools, technical and behavioural competency frameworks and map expectations for each level of job family;
5. Assess employees and managers against your anticipated standards;
6. Design a training curriculum, focusing on the activities that can be undertaken at work to assist people in their professional development;
7. Introduce individual professional development plans.

Top tips from an oil & gas company

A leading international oil & gas company found that establishing a governance committee was key to success when implementing a job family project because it ensured that senior managers were involved and engaged with the process. The Steering Management Committee included a member of the executive leadership team, senior managers from within each job family, a learning and development representative and a technical expert from the business.

The Committee also identified a need for a project team that included a professional development advisor and HR representative. Its role was to steer the development of JFM tools, which among other things laid out the technical competencies required for each job family.

Just as vital, however, was a project plan to help manage expectations around the initiative and assist stakeholders in understanding what was involved at each stage - and why everything could not happen overnight. Communicating what was involved in the change process and keeping stakeholders up-to-date on progress were also necessary to keep everyone onside and win over the sceptics.

Role profiles and competencies

The development of a job family ladder, meanwhile, also made it easier to show employees possible career progression routes within a given job family. In the case of oil & gas workers, this usually involves becoming either technical professional specialists or moving on to a managerial leadership track.

Identifying career levels and ladders, and documenting them as role profiles at each job family level, also helped ensure that everyone was treated equally within that job family. It likewise made it easier to manage staff promotions to higher salary grades and negated the need for job evaluations. Role profiles - which look similar to job descriptions but are generic at each level of the job family –also included information about:

- Accountabilities;
- Performance measures;
- Knowledge and experience;
- Behavioural and professional competency expectations - these were developed by a professional development advisor working with a team of subject experts within each job family.

Benefits

Deploying the JFM was found to promote equity and fairness in terms of pay, compensation and benefits as the expectations of both employees and managers were clear and consistent for each job family, right across the organisation. This meant that pay grade inflation fell as the development and promotion processes were explicit. For example, employees knew they needed to be expert in specific professional competencies before they would be eligible for promotion and a pay increase.

 

Peter Lawrence is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. He worked with a leading international oil & gas company to introduce the job family model, before setting up his own HR consultancy, Human Capital Department.

The ‘job family model’ has been implemented by a number of leading multinational employers, with the aim of introducing a structured process for managing their employees’ career development. Here is a brief guide to what it is and how to get it right:

What is the job family model?

The ‘job family model’ (JFM) is a structured process to help you manage the careers of your employees and provide them with a ‘career roadmap’ to follow. This roadmap acts as a guide for training and development activities. It enables individuals to improve their performance in their existing job role and also helps them prepare for the next step.

Why implement it?

The following table outlines key reasons why you might benefit from this approach:

Driver

Anticipated outcomes

Supports business strategy

The model will help you develop an effective set of integrated people processes to help you attract, develop and retain a high-performing workforce able to meet the company’s current and future business needs.

Enables performance improvement

Professional development plans based on the ‘development curriculum’ will enable you to identify and address competency gaps and areas for development.

Embeds a performance managementbased

culture

It will help you create clearer and more consistent performance measures (eg role profiles, behavioural and technical competencies) and ensure more consistency in managing performance.

Manages career expectations

A ‘career roadmap’ based on ladders and levels in the job family outlines expectations (defined in terms of competencies) in the current role and possible routes for future progression

Provides governance in career

development activities

Sound governance (based on job family councils) over career development ensures equity and fairness. It also identifies business needs, which likewise lead to possible career development opportunities such as heading a project team.

Maintains employee engagement,

motivation and commitment

Employees perceive that opportunities for professional development and career progression are available, which results in improved productivity and higher levels of discretionary effort.

Helps ensure staff retention

The model helps to retain talent and cut expenditure on recruitment, selection, induction and training.

Optimises costs and provides a return on

investment

Training and development opportunities are determined in reference to the ‘training and development curriculum’ and matched to job competencies. This means that training is more appropriate to needs and generates a better return on investment.

Boosts recruitment levels in areas of skills

shortages

The model helps to attract potential employees even into areas where there are skill shortages as potential recruits see that development is provided in a structured way.

 

“A leading international oil & gas company found that establishing a governance committee was key to success when implementing a job family project because it ensured that senior managers were involved and engaged with the process.”

How to implement it

Here is a practical step-by-step guide to help you implement the JFM effectively:

1. Bear in mind that implementing a JFM requires input time-wise from the senior management team, project managers and facilitators;
2. Start by establishing a governance structure. These structures consist of senior management committees that are responsible for developing job family tools and guiding decisions about individual development activities aligned to the needs of the business;
3. Identify job families within your team as well as job family levels and ladders;
4. Develop tools, technical and behavioural competency frameworks and map expectations for each level of job family;
5. Assess employees and managers against your anticipated standards;
6. Design a training curriculum, focusing on the activities that can be undertaken at work to assist people in their professional development;
7. Introduce individual professional development plans.

Top tips from an oil & gas company

A leading international oil & gas company found that establishing a governance committee was key to success when implementing a job family project because it ensured that senior managers were involved and engaged with the process. The Steering Management Committee included a member of the executive leadership team, senior managers from within each job family, a learning and development representative and a technical expert from the business.

The Committee also identified a need for a project team that included a professional development advisor and HR representative. Its role was to steer the development of JFM tools, which among other things laid out the technical competencies required for each job family.

Just as vital, however, was a project plan to help manage expectations around the initiative and assist stakeholders in understanding what was involved at each stage - and why everything could not happen overnight. Communicating what was involved in the change process and keeping stakeholders up-to-date on progress were also necessary to keep everyone onside and win over the sceptics.

Role profiles and competencies

The development of a job family ladder, meanwhile, also made it easier to show employees possible career progression routes within a given job family. In the case of oil & gas workers, this usually involves becoming either technical professional specialists or moving on to a managerial leadership track.

Identifying career levels and ladders, and documenting them as role profiles at each job family level, also helped ensure that everyone was treated equally within that job family. It likewise made it easier to manage staff promotions to higher salary grades and negated the need for job evaluations. Role profiles - which look similar to job descriptions but are generic at each level of the job family –also included information about:

- Accountabilities;
- Performance measures;
- Knowledge and experience;
- Behavioural and professional competency expectations - these were developed by a professional development advisor working with a team of subject experts within each job family.

Benefits

Deploying the JFM was found to promote equity and fairness in terms of pay, compensation and benefits as the expectations of both employees and managers were clear and consistent for each job family, right across the organisation. This meant that pay grade inflation fell as the development and promotion processes were explicit. For example, employees knew they needed to be expert in specific professional competencies before they would be eligible for promotion and a pay increase.

 

Peter Lawrence is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. He worked with a leading international oil & gas company to introduce the job family model, before setting up his own HR consultancy, Human Capital Department.

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