SL Controls Pathways Programme – Helping Engineers Grow Their Careers

Engineering talent is a core driver of success in SL Controls. We are not unique in this as industries in almost all sectors become more automated, technologically advanced, and data-driven. To fully harness the potential of our engineering talent, we have put in place a structure to ensure our engineers can grow their careers and be properly rewarded. We call it the Pathways Programme.

The programme has multiple elements that discard traditional thinking about career development and instead focus on the individual engineers in our team and the specific needs of our business.

Our Approach to Engineering Career Development

A crucial aspect of the SL Controls Pathways Programme is we don’t just want engineers to move into management. This traditional vertical career trajectory (moving up the career ladder) is right for some people but not for others. Of course, we want to facilitate as much as possible those who want to go the management route. This shouldn’t be the only option, however.

In other words, we believe that considering the vertical career path as the only or even the best one to follow as being outdated. So, we moved away from the linear approach of starting as an engineer and working up the ranks to senior management. Instead, we take a non-linear approach with multiple career pathways, loops, and endpoints.

This means giving our engineers the opportunity to grow their careers horizontally by enhancing their knowledge, acquiring new skills, and becoming thought leaders in the industry.

Each member of our team already does great work, but we want them to become even better, to delve deeper, and to have even greater influence on the projects we deliver for clients. We also want them to widen their scope of influence even further, developing new products, concepts, and ideas that become recognised in the wider industry.

These career paths come with suitable financial rewards meaning we don’t just give managers higher salaries.

In addition, for engineers working at SL Controls, promotions are more personally meaningful. In other words, as engineers move along their career paths, they:

  • Master new skills – increasing the amount of influence they have on projects
  • Become more autonomous – making their own decisions
  • Gain recognition – through new job roles, project participation, project influence, and more
  • Receive enhanced compensation – the increase in value added to the company comes with structured financial rewards

The SL Controls Pathways Programme for Career Progression

The primary aim of the Pathways Programme is to help our employees identify the skills and abilities they need to progress their career.

The programme has three core elements:

  1. Employee job classifications and grades – for salary purposes, we classify together positions in the company that have similar impact and scope. This ensures pay equity as well as enabling us to transport salaries when employees add value to projects by delivering new skills or knowledge.
  2. Competency framework and career progression model – this defines the knowledge, skills, and attributes the company needs from our employees. It ensures transparency and lets employees map out a career progression route.
  3. Salary bands – SL Controls regularly reviews salary bands to ensure they remain competitive and reflective of current market conditions.

Benefits of the Pathways Programme

  • Gives employees a clear career progression path to follow based on the needs of the business
  • Ensures all employees receive customised training and professional development
  • Ensures SL Controls has the necessary skills to deliver for our clients
  • Helps with employee recruitment and retention
  • Improves performance evaluation
  • Enables fast identification of skill and competency gaps
  • Improves the efficiency of change management processes

Finally, the Pathways Programme at SL Controls benefits our clients too. After all, continuous professional development within our team keeps us at the leading edge of the industry.

Fiona Beirne

Fiona is SL Controls' HR Manager. She has extensive HR sector experience and is a CIPD qualified HR Professional. She brings a wealth of knowledge gained working in the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector for several multi-national companies. Fiona provides HR business partnership and leadership to optimise people strategy and culture and facilitates the liaison and delivery of human resource programmes.

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