What Are Career Experiences?

Let’s talk about the elephant in the hiring room — growing turnover rates. In the US, over the last 10 years alone the national turnover rate has increased by an astounding rate of over 88%. It’s been a combination of things: the culture, a change in workplace standards, lowering real wage. In an attempt to adapt to these changes, some workplaces are starting to focus on career experiences.


What are career experiences?

Simply put, career experiences are when an employee changes roles inside or outside their company. Usually to gain experience, knowledge, or skill. The idea is to retain employees by ensuring that they are not stuck repeating the same mundane routines year in and year out. Instead, they will move into new roles, take on new responsibilities, and regularly change positions. It is a method of retention that relies heavily on retraining but has the added benefit of creating a diversely skilled workforce. From gaining experience in different positions, employees will be able to improve on both their soft and hard skills.

What Are Career Experiences?


What are the different types of career experiences?

According to AIHR there are four different types of career experiences: lateral, vertical, rotational and boomerang.


Lateral is when an employee changes jobs or divisions within the same company while maintaining the same level of responsibilities. This helps the employee to broaden their skills and build new perspectives. It is also an opportunity to mingle with other departments, helping teamwork.

A vertical move is the stock-standard promotion. An employee is moved into a more senior role and this growth helps to retain them. It is also beneficial to the company as they are filling positions from their current workers, rather than taking them on externally. Which is associated with higher on boarding costs and productivity losses.

A rotational experience is a great way to get employees to build skills without removing them permanently from a position they may be more suited to. When a rotation occurs, employees are temporarily assigned a different role to gain experience and knowledge. Then eventually move back into their previous role.

A boomerang experience is the most outlandish of the four. Seeking to improve long-term retention by having the employee momentarily leave the company. In this scenario an employee will leave the organisation only to return some time later with enriched experience and knowledge.


Most of these strategies focus on the growth of the employee which is a major contributor to both retention and employee satisfaction (more on that: here). It is also beneficial to the company as through providing these career experiences they will slowly be enriching and improving their workforce.

What Are Career Experiences?


What would my employees like?

Career experiences aren’t for everyone. Some employees may feel perfectly fine in their roles, without the need to ‘rotate’ into a new one. In those cases, implementing career experiences as a retention strategy might be doing more harm than good. To find out how your employees feel about their current position, an employee survey can be used.

Using an employee survey to develop a sound strategy before jumping into action will help save on long-term costs and avoid making unnecessary or damaging risks. At CiVS we make it our job to deliver the best employee surveys, with modern software and a smart team, you can’t go wrong. We work consultatively with each of our clients to make sure their surveys will run smoothly and develop useful insights.

Sound interesting? Send us an email at info@civs.com.au or give us a call at (08) 6314 0580 to learn more.