Employee Engagement

Ladder Vs Lattice Career

Supporting employees through periods of development is key to good business. Employees can evaluate professional development opportunities and use those as a key indicator throughout a job search process. Which is best – a ladder vs lattice career?

Professional development is key to continuing to grow in your professional knowledge, skills development, and career progression. Allowing employees to take some time and assess their professional capabilities, skills and where they want to go is key to employee retention. Do they want to be able to learn when working? Do you offer educational assistance tuition matching? Do you offer job rotations or leaves in absence with job security in one department enabling employees to try out other roles within your company?

Once you have reflected on this, the next thing to consider is the path of which you want to offer these options.

In general, there are two manners of doing this: 1) Ladder career vs 2) Lattice career.

What exactly is the difference between a ladder vs lattice career? A ladder career plays into the analogy of climbing a ladder in the traditional sense. You are taking a vertical approach to your career growth and it typically builds upon your existing experience. The benefits of this approach are that your knowledge continues to grow and deepen over time, your experience grows within the same industry and there is comfort is knowing what you are doing but also slowly building on your job duties as you step up on the ladder. However, you may have limited career opportunities in smaller or specific industries.

A lattice career, however, expands much more on the ladder concept. In many cases, the ladder concept is giving way to the lattice approach. It gives into your employee’s ability to lattice their way to their preferred job within your existing company. This manner of career development does not restrict itself vertically- rather, it promotes develop along a horizontal, vertical and diagonal path. It promotes development that is more collaborative and builds careers by fostering participation.

Lattice structures development on building capabilities. By taking on a new role of the business, one can expect to broaden overall business knowledge and challenge oneself to learn more, faster and quicker. This approach contributes to increasing productivity and promoting the continued development and organizational influence by valuing career paths of all directions. By moving through the organization and not just limited to one department, this increased the ability to meet and work with many different people. By offering this continued development approach, it also matches the needs of your employees.

Why is this important? Millennials and Generation Z are looking to grow in their development in positions, when looking at a ladder vs lattice career. Various research notes that they are looking to be offered work opportunities like job rotation, and mentorship placements. This is a vital consideration to be made for your business as they grown to be the largest portion of the working population. Meeting the demands of the largest chunk of the working force is key to remaining a company who practices progressive human resources along with business savvy.

How Talivest can help

Talivest is an online platform that helps global companies tap into rich networks of their past and future talent. We help organisations understand why employees are leaving, stay connected with them and help re-hire high performing alumni. This results in reduced recruitment costs, boosted productivity, improved brand culture and a rich talent pool for referrals and boomerangs.


Laura Belyea