Our new blog series focuses on finding (and keeping) the right employee for your business. We will explore a number of areas all having to do with finding, hiring, and retaining employee talent. This second post focuses on developing career paths within your company for your employees.

A few months ago a manager asked us what the difference was between a manager and a supervisor. Of course the answer to this question can vary considerably depending upon your company. At the time, we provided the manager with a checklist to help him identify the types of management and leadership skills he would need in the title industry to develop professionally. The CBA Management and Leadership checklist will be in the next post..

The question this manager asked however draws attention to the bigger idea of determining clear development paths for your employees. If your employees know there are career paths possible in your company and you help them achieve their professional goals, they will be more likely to invest their time and effort to remain with you.

Here are four steps to consider in determining development paths for employees:

  1. Identify the skills, competencies and values you want in all employees.
  2. Identify the skills and competencies needed for specific positions.
  3. Evaluate the current level of employee performance and provide feedback.
  4. Develop employee performance goals and career goals with each employee.

The first step is to identify the critical employee skills your company will need to stay competitive. Start by identifying the skills you want all your employees to have regardless of their position. You can call these core skills, competencies or values for all employees.

For example being honest is a value. Being friendly or being polite a skill. In a title company, customer service skills, computer skills, people skills and teamwork will all be important for the employees of the future. These core skills should be aligned with the vision and mission of your company. Of course the very best strategy for a company is to hire people who already have these skills.

In a later post, we will explore practices to find, interview and hire talent but for now our focus is on keeping the talent you already have. In most cases, the people you already have hired will want to continue to develop professionally. The more you can help them, the more satisfied they will be and the more your company will benefit.

The second step is to identify the skills you need for specific positions within your company. For example your management, sales, title, and escrow staff each will have a unique set of skills important to their job. In Chapter 7 of our book, Finding the Right Path, (pp. 120), we list 29 dimensions or skill areas we recommend for evaluating employees. The first 10 dimensions on our list are core skills or competencies all employees should have. The remaining 19 dimensions on the list are for managers and sales personnel. Additional skill areas for title and escrow staff would include job knowledge, productivity and quality.

The third step is to evaluate employee performance in the skill areas you have identified and provide feedback. Many companies in administering yearly employee reviews provide performance feedback for specific skill areas but just as many companies often neglect their performance review systems or provide little or vague feedback that does not address specific skill development needs, goals or opportunities for the employee. The key to employee development is to identify specific employee needs, identify goals and a clear path or multiple paths to achieve those outcomes.

The final step is to use your assessment results as a tool to help you work with the employee to develop professional goals and a path to reach those goals. Lateral movement within the company should be considered as well. For example, we have known closers who have become great sales people.

A word of warning. The Millennials you have hired will want (most likely) to take an active role in exploring their development opportunities. They will want their plan to meet their specific needs and expect frequent review and feedback on their progress. A Millennial will not want to wait a whole year to discuss progress. They will have their eyes trained elsewhere for opportunities and the best way to keep their talent, and your investment, is to actively work with them on their future and yours.

In the next post we will present:


If you would like more information about determining development paths for your employees please contact Chris Hanson or Roger Lubeck through this website or from

The posts in this blog are co-written by Chris Hanson and Roger Lubeck at CBA, Ltd.

CBA’s book on Management, Leadership and Sales, Finding the Right Path and Finding the Right Strategy can be ordered directly via this website or through Amazon.

To learn more about CBA’s consulting services, contact us directly or explore our website.