Are nearly half the employers out there failing to give their employees what they need in order to experience career advancement?
That’s the implication of a Towers Watson Talent Management and Rewards Survey of 160 U.S. and Canadian businesses. When asked whether they thought their workers were “able to achieve career advancement given the structure and tools currently in place,” 44 percent said “no.” Perhaps more disturbing, 37 percent said they didn’t think their employees know how to influence their own career trajectories.
That’s tough from a retention standpoint. These respondents listed career development potential as a huge factor in an employee’s decision to take a job. They also reported that lack of career advancement was the No. 1 reason employees cited for deciding to leave for another job.
“With employers becoming increasingly concerned about attracting and retaining top talent, this is an ideal time for them to place a much higher priority on their career management initiatives,” said Laura Sejen, global leader of rewards at Towers Watson. “The fact that so many organizations are falling short in their career management efforts is worrisome given how important development and advancement are to employees and employers, and the high stakes that are tied to effectively managing talent.”
The survey identified several reasons why career management programs are missing the mark:
- Career paths are poorly defined by employers, with only a third of respondents reporting that they have defined vertical career paths. Just one-quarter said they have dual career paths for managers and individual contributors.
- Companies are not leveraging technology effectively. Two-thirds said they use technology to provide access to learning and development programs, but just 44 percent said they make effective use of this technology.
- Managers are ill-equipped to handle key aspects of career management. Only one in four respondents say managers are effective at providing career management support to employees.
“Relatively few organizations even know if programs are working. Less than four in 10 (38 percent) monitor the implementation of career management programs to ensure they are consistent with their objectives and guidelines,” the survey said.