The Higher Ed Workplace Blog

The Job Family Approach to Career Development

job-familyLooking for a way to motivate your employees? Need some incentives to keep your best people? Struggling with employee engagement? Putting career development front and center can help address all these issues, and one approach to career development that is growing increasingly popular is job families.

What Is a Job Family?
A job family is defined as a series of progressively higher, related jobs distinguished by levels of knowledge, skills and abilities and other factors, which provide promotional opportunities to employees. Auburn University’s HR department has created a great, detailed document explaining job families.

Benefits of Using Job Families
Northwestern University has been using the job families approach for a while now, and has realized several benefits. Job families create opportunities for career growth; define a hierarchy or progression from one level of job to another within the discipline; provide a clearer definition of required job attributes; provide a mechanism for differentiating between roles and levels (e.g. analyst to manager); simplify the process of creating job descriptions and promoting employees; and aid in job evaluation and salary grade assignments.

Could your institution benefit from the job family approach to employee career development? Have you already had success with this approach?

To learn more about the role job families can play in keeping employees engaged and motivated, plan to attend the session “Keep Your Best! NU’s Approach to Employee Career Development,” at the CUPA-HR Annual Conference and Expo 2014, September 28-30 in San Antonio, Texas. If you’re unable to attend the conference, you can still keep up with what we’re learning! We’ll be tweeting and blogging from sessions and events, so be sure to follow along on Twitter (#cupahr14) and The Higher Ed Workplace blog.