The Career Ladders program is designed to create development opportunities for the often-overlooked entry-level, low-income employees. In accordance with the “dual client” principle that guides all JDC-Tevet activity, the program provides for the needs of both employees and employers, exemplifying cooperation with the business community in adapting models and methods to changing workforce needs.
Career Ladders is a roadmap that identifies the various crossroads in a given organizations and designs opportunities to traverse them, with an emphasis on those in entry-level positions. The program identifies the skills, education and experience required to enable employee mobility.
For employers, Career Ladders can help in employee recruitment and retention, making entry-level positions more attractive, encouraging employees to persist in their jobs and reducing turnover. For employees, career path development enables planning, specialization and long-term growth.
Advancement opportunities do not necessarily require a move to management positions and can often be achieved in professional roles requiring higher skill levels. Whereas development within a managerial career path consists of relatively clear “rungs”, designing the path and progression along a professional career path requires in-depth development suited to the organization.
Such paths are generally not obvious, requiring structuring and hands-on management. Tevet’s Career Ladder program, in conjunction with government partners, responds to this need, especially for the benefit of entry-level employees for whom there is often no defined organizational response. Developing career paths for these workers is a welcome change in the Israeli labor market, building human resources that are often overlooked within organizations.
Training for professionals
The program provides training for human resources and organizational development managers, exposing them to career path structuring models. They experiment with relevant tools and conduct peer-based learning so they can implement these models within their organizations. Participants are also invited to take part in an active learning forum led by Tevet.
What’s Special about this Program?
Many organizations tend to focus more on the growth and advancement of employees in higher-level managerial positions. This program puts the spotlight on entry-level and lower-level staff who constitute the majority of most organizations’ employees. It is innovative in that it focuses on junior employees as leading candidates for advancement.
Hameshavev, a metalworking plant in the town of Yavneh
Nira Tiran is the head of human resources at Hameshavev, one of the country’s leading metalworking solution suppliers to manufacturers in the high-tech and electronic fields. The company employs 400 workers.
Tiran took part in the first training course of the Career Ladders program, where she was exposed to the innovative model and guidance provided by Tevet’s expert consultants. As a result, the company has decided to open the first-of-its-kind on-the-job metalworking school that will enable movement among the various jobs defined as relevant for the advancement of manufacturing line workers.
“Right now we’re recruiting unskilled workers because it’s hard to find trained ones,” Tiran says. “Our goal, together with opening the school, is to create a clearly structured career path development system: studies along with professional growth, promotion and pay scale advancement.”
Initially, one course will be for beginners and the other for more experienced metalworkers. The three-month course will be open to all employees. Those who pass the final exam will get a certificate. “Employees will know that if they study and move on to the next stage, their pay will be updated accordingly,” Tiran adds. “We want to achieve complete transparency – defining each rung in the ladder (stage), the knowhow required for it and the expected pay for each stage.”
Eventually, the classes may be opened up to workers from other plants. “I want us to be leaders in this field,” Tiran says. “We’re doing something that’s pioneering and new, and investing a lot of work and thought in setting it up. This process would not have been possible without the accompaniment of JDC-Tevet, because the day-to-day-work of dealing with 400 employees takes up all my time. This is an opportunity to thank all those who are seeing us through this project and encouraging us. Without them this would have been an impossible mission.”
The program is based on four stages (4X4) – a unique, innovative model developed jointly by JDC-Tevet and pioneering employers. It is currently provided at no cost and offers:
- Partnership in building employee career advancement paths adapted to each organization and its needs;
- Work methodology and professional knowhow based on accumulated employer experience;
- A team of highly experienced organizational consultants, specifically trained for this task, that guides the organization throughout the project;
- Accompanying research.
The Program in Numbers
Two leading firms from the retail and preschool sectors took part in the program’s pilot stage.
Representatives of dozens of other organizations from varied industries –automotive, logistics, healthcare, metalworking, plastics, food and transportation - have taken part in training.
So far 300 employees have been integrated into the career ladders developed at these organizations.