Employees Want More Recognition Through Career Development

Employees Want More Recognition through Better Career Development

Recruitment teams, your workload may be about to skyrocket if you work for one of the many companies that are failing to recognise and reward their employees’ efforts with the right kind of development and promotional opportunities.

Two new surveys have both shown that staff who feel undervalued, and that their efforts aren’t recognised, are planning to hit the road in search of more meaningful work.

“Appropriate compensation is key to a professional’s job satisfaction, but being recognised for a job well done through a promotion is also a critical factor in motivating and retaining talented employees,” says Tom McMullen, senior client partner at Korn Ferry.

“A lack of career-development opportunities is the No. 1 reason why professionals leave a company.”

Korn Ferry’s recent survey of 850 professionals revealed that many organisations are failing to create clear advancement opportunities for their employees.

Seemingly, this is having a drastic impact on employee retention and engagement rates.

Over half (57%) of respondents who didn’t get a promotion in the last 12 months said the main reason was a “bottleneck or nowhere to go” within their organisation.

Just under a quarter (24%) cited “office politics” as the main cause for them not receiving a promotion.

Failing to provide opportunities for promotion is also driving up staff turnover.

Of the 47% of respondents who expect to receive a promotion this year, almost a third (29%) said that they will be on the job hunt if they are passed over.

Alongside this, a new survey from Achievers of 1,700 professionals found that over half plan to search for new jobs this year, with over a quarter citing a lack of recognition by their employer as the main driver.

So, which factors improve staff retention?

The Achievers survey asked respondents what factors or perks would motivate them to remain with their current employer:

  • 74% cited interesting work
  • 69% cited recognition and rewards
  • 57% cited more time off
  • 55% cited the ability to work remotely

“These findings underscore that employees are less influenced by incentives such as a free lunch,” says Achievers General Manager Owen Sagness.

“They want to work for an employer that recognises and rewards their contributions to meaningful work.”

The Korn Ferry survey also revealed that many employees would be happy to receive a promotion without the accompanying pay rise.

While 54% said they’d prefer to receive a raise without a promotion, a substantial proportion (46%) said they would prefer to receive a promotion without the pay rise.

That’s a powerful insight for management teams and organisations that still believe money is the sole motivator for the majority of their staff to perform better and remain in the organisation.

HR leaders need to make sure that employees are engaged in an ongoing conversation around how they’re performing and what they need to do to be ready to take on added responsibility, says McMullen.

“Even if an employee is not yet ready for the next role, knowing that there is potential for a promotion to a more challenging role is an excellent way to retain top talent.”

While we can’t expect our best talent to want to stick around forever, we can provide the right kind of tailored learning and development opportunities to keep them engaged, motivated and more driven to stick with the organisation.

How can organisations develop staff more effectively?

One of the best ways to make sure you’re offering your staff the kind of development and promotional opportunities is to first understand what really motivates them as individuals.

That means both intrinsically and extrinsically.

What makes them tick, deep down?

What kind of learning styles do they have?

What competencies or skills do they lack?

And what do they want from their role and from their manager that will help them grow?

When you discover what interests them and what motivates them specifically in their role, and then open an honest dialogue around HOW they would like to develop themselves, both personally and professionally, it makes it much easier for you to create and offer the kind of development and promotional opportunities that actually have a deep and lasting impact on the individual employee.

And as this survey shows, those opportunities do not necessarily have to involve monetary reward.

What’s important to remember is that developing talent is essentially about knowing the DNA of your individual employees and helping them to realise their potential through appropriate job design and tailored development opportunities that suit their natural styles and motivational needs.

After all, no-one does anything without first being motivated to do it. And what motivates one person to develop and grow with your organisation, does not necessarily motivate the other.

Of all the approaches for HR teams and managers to discover what makes their employees tick, and what kind of personal development opportunities will have most impact, gaining and applying insights from talent assessment tools or personality profiling tools, is one of the fastest and most reliable ways to do it.

Whether it’s defining competency gaps or pinpointing personality styles.

Ultimately, using a science-based approach to creating tailored training and development programs helps HR teams, managers and leaders to better understand how to develop their people and retain top performers by knowing how to set them up for success.

 Are you seeing employees leave your organisation in search of promotion elsewhere?

What kind of development opportunities have had the most impact in your organisation?

We’d love to hear your thoughts, share them below.


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