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Why it was time for us to launch a Tech Career Growth Framework

27 June 2022   |  
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We have seen considerable growth in our tech team over the last few years (it’s more than doubled, actually) and it’s forecast to double again in the near future. That’s a whole lotta growth.  

Supporting our teams’ development through 1:1s, coaching, and growth discussions is effective, but we knew we could do better. The speed and scale of the change demanded more. 

Enter the Healx Career Growth Framework for all of our tech employees. 

What is the Career Growth Framework?

Like many companies before us, we have built a toolkit that categorises and quantifies the typical individual contributor (IC) pathway, which for us spans Engineer I, Eng II, Senior, Principal, Senior Principal, Fellow and Distinguished Engineer. It aims to define what behaviours, skills and competencies are likely to be displayed at each level of a technologist’s career.

We built this with a small group of interested people from our tech and People Team, and then used our own teams to get feedback and steer. The launch of this framework sits alongside work we’ve already done to ensure consistency of experience, job levels and titles across the various functions at Healx and better align the Science and Tech parts of the business. This work helps us consistently thinking about impact, irrespective of discipline/domain, and supports cross functional collaboration.

You can see our frameworks for software/platform engineer and R&D publicly.  We felt that making it available publicly was a useful way of demonstrating transparency around our processes, and sharing some of our mindset around tech growth at Healx.

Why is it important?

The Career Growth Framework helps the engineer evaluate how they are Delivering, Shaping, Learning, Collaborating and Connecting, and creates a level playing field for each Healx employee to use as they investigate and plan their own personal development.

It’s another step in demonstrating our commitment to support and encourage our team’s growth, and it sits alongside the broader support structures we have in place such as 1:1s, Coaching and Feedback.

It also marks the formal acknowledgement of something we’ve always held true – that there should be no ‘artificial ceiling’ on progression on an individual contributor path.  We firmly believe that our teams are the core value creators for Healx, so this progression pathway supports staff all the way up to VP equivalent levels in terms of their growth.

How are we using it?

It’d be really easy to look at something like this as a box ticking exercise: achieve ‘all the things’ in a level to progress. We’ve tried to steer clear of that as much as possible, and we use this instead as one of a broad set of inputs in helping our people grow.  We deliberately named it a Growth rather than Progression framework for that very reason: we can grow in many ways in our careers, and we want to support each of those.

Employees are encouraged to use it as a reflection tool when looking at their growth opportunities, and managers are encouraged to use it as an input to feedback and growth discussions.  There are internal guidance documents that talk about a few ways the framework can be applied and each technologist and manager are experimenting with ways to make it most effective in those overall personal development and growth conversations.

What’s next?

Other teams outside of tech already have some elements of this in place, and the aim is to bring ubiquity to the org so that our other specialists are as effectively supported.  We will also be evolving a management growth framework to support our managers, directors, and beyond in their own pathway.

This framework will naturally evolve as we apply it – it will never be finished or perfect, and it is to be considered a living document, so our teams and our managers will help steer this.

If what you see here is interesting to you in your own growth, please consider checking our careers page – we routinely have open roles within tech.

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