Career path refers to the growth of the employee in an organization.
It refers to the various positions an employee moves to as he grows in an organization.
The employee may move vertically most of the time but also move laterally or cross functionally to move to a different type of job role.
Career path is used interchangeably with career ladder.
Most successful companies chalk out a career path/career ladder for the employees in order to provide them with a realistic picture of their position in the coming years in order to retain them.
Having a clear idea about future positions and job responsibilities, the employee and the company can work to identify areas where relevant training is required for the employee to build his competencies to fulfill future job requirements.
Succession planning is a process whereby an organization ensures that employees are recruited and developed to fill each key role within the company.
Through your succession planning process, you recruit superior employees, develop their knowledge, skills, and abilities, and prepare them for advancement or promotion into ever more challenging roles.
Actively pursuing succession planning ensures that employees are constantly developed to fill each needed role.
As your organization expands, loses key employees, provides promotional opportunities, and increases sales, your succession planning guarantees that you have employees on hand ready and waiting to fill new roles.
Effective, proactive succession planning leaves your organization well prepared for expansion, the loss of a key employee, filling a new, needed job, employee promotions, and organizational redesign for opportunities.
Successful succession planning builds bench strength.