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Leadership
7 Min Read

15Five Empowers Employees To Design Their Careers and Own Their Growth and Development

Courtney Bigony
Courtney Bigony

Employees want a clear line of sight for frequent growth and development opportunities no matter the stage of their career. According to the Design Career Index Annual Report, the top three reasons people left their last role was due to poor leadership/management, lack of career path, and lack of meaning/purpose. If people don’t see a future at your company, they’re going to find it somewhere else. 

Some organizations offer linear career paths, but these predefined roles can feel limiting to those who don’t want to climb the traditional ladder. And many employees need help finding and defining what they want. So how can HR and managers provide the frequent and meaningful growth opportunities that so many employees crave? 

15Five’s Career Growth

15Five’s holistic Career Growth suite offers an easy-to-use, customizable solution that empowers employees to take control of their growth and development and design their own careers. Using 15Five’s software, HR leaders and managers can now discover, develop, and retain top talent at scale. Our Career Growth suite also:

• Helps employees discover their top strengths and find and define what they want in a career
• Equips managers to better leverage their employees’ strengths so employees feel happier and driven in their roles
• Empowers employees to take ownership of their careers and growth path 
• Provides every employee a line of sight of growth and opportunity no matter how they see their career progressing or the size or the organization
• Gives structure and framework for managers and employees to discuss competencies and take the next step in an employee’s career 

“Use jobs to motivate. If you have only one motivational bullet—look at the work people do.”

– Alan Colquitt, author of Next Generation Performance Management

15Five’s Career Growth helps organizations of any size give their employees a future that isn’t dependent on traditional, often constrictive, career ladders. Facebook’s Head of People, Lori Goler worked with top organizational psychologist Adam Grant to understand why people really quit their jobs and found “if you want to keep your people—especially your stars—it’s time to pay more attention to how you design their work. Most companies design jobs and then slot people into them. Our best managers sometimes do the opposite: When they find talented people, they’re open to creating jobs around them.” 

In other words, the greatest mistake companies make with traditional career ladders is trying to put individuals in a mold. According to Alan Colquitt, leading expert in the field of HR and performance management, “Use jobs to motivate. If you have only one motivational bullet—look at the work people do.”

Rather than slotting employees into predesigned career ladders, roles, and job descriptions, 15Five’s Career Growth allows employees to own their careers and collaborate with their managers to tailor their development paths. HR leaders and managers can pick the features that work best for them and add on as their employees’ needs evolve. With tools that help with strengths-finding and role-alignment, competency assessments, goal setting, and performance reviews, HR leaders and managers can offer the unique career path options their employees desire. 

Our Career Growth suite allows you to mix-and-match features, including:

The Best-Self Kickoff: Uncover an employee’s top strengths and what they need in order to do their best work. Self-discovery is an important precursor to self development but most companies miss this critical first step. 
Career Vision: Discuss current responsibilities, ensure role clarity and help employees align their top strengths to their role. Employees can also envision their dream career and work with their managers to make it a reality. 
OKRs: Clarify and prioritize what needs to be accomplished each quarter and how employees will contribute to creating a sense of individual ownership and purpose. Employees can set self-development objectives and skills-based learning goals. Employees can also create individual and collaborative objectives that align with and help to advance company goals.
Check-ins: Provide continual growth and development opportunities with regular focused discussions. 
Request Feedback: Empower employees to take charge of their ongoing development by soliciting feedback from their peers.
Best-Self Review: Offer strengths-based, forward-looking career conversations on a quarterly basis to place every employee on a trajectory towards a career they’re envisioning. 
Private Manager Assessment: Provide more fair and objective assessments of performance. 
Competencies: Assess the behaviors and skills that your organization associates with high performance, as well as opportunities for growth and development.
Talent Matrix: Identify high and low performers based on objective assessments of performance and promotion readiness. 

Additional features will launch in 2021 to help employees discover what they want in their career, how to create a plan, and when to take action.  

Our vision 

15Five’s Career Growth will soon include the first strengths-based job description that promotes active self discovery, an important precursor to self-development that is often overlooked in organizations. The self-discovery process will help employees identify their top needs and natural tendencies (e.g., strengths, values, passions, interests, and purpose) that will orient every employee on a strengths-based growth and development trajectory.

Strengths and clearly defined job responsibilities will then be mapped to a chart inspired by Gay Hendricks book, Zone of Genius, to help identify if an employee is working in their “Zone of Incompetence” (i.e., work that others can do better), “Zone of Competence” (i.e., work that others do equally as well), “Zone of Excellence” (i.e., work that the individual excels at), or “Zone of Genius” (i.e., a special set of abilities and work that cannot be replicated by anyone else).

Employees will be guided to align their strengths-based job description with the organization’s top objectives to drive the company mission and vision forward. The complete Career Growth Profile will showcase all of an employee’s strengths and insights, how they align with their role, their goals, and the impact they have on the company.

Software inspired by the science of thriving 

At 15Five, we use Positive Product Design, a method that aligns technology to the science of thriving, to unlock the potential of every member of the global workforce. We look to positive psychology to inform much of what we do because of its focus on nurturing what’s best within ourselves, which science shows is key to thriving in all parts of life. Science also offers a deeper understanding of human needs and how to meet them. This guides our product decisions. 

According to the science of positive psychology and related fields, people need to be aware of their unique strengths and leverage those strengths in all areas of life; they need to continually grow and develop, set intrinsically motivated goals, and make progress on meaningful work; they need to feel their life has purpose and that they contribute to something greater than the self. Many HR platforms haven’t been designed in an attempt to meet people’s deeper psychological needs. And we have been suffering as a result. 

15Five’s Career Growth is the first platform designed using the science of thriving to help fulfill human potential. With our people and performance solution, HR leaders can now easily discover, develop, and retain top talent at scale and unlock the potential of their entire workforce. 

Courtney Bigony

Courtney Bigony is the Director of People Science at 15Five, industry-leading people management software, where she developed Positive Product Design which aligns the product to the latest science of thriving. Courtney has a Masters of Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, is the founder of The Deep Feedback Movement, and a Fellow at the Center for Evidence Based Management. She was named a 2019 Workforce Game Changer by Workforce Magazine and has contributed pieces featured in Forbes and Huffington Post. Follow her on twitter @CourtneyBigony.

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