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Avoid the Engagement and Retention Cliff Through Career Development

By Michelle Gouldsberry
August 7, 2023
3 minute read

In a tight talent market, retaining valuable employees has become more critical — and in many ways more challenging —than ever. 

Our recent 2023 State of Performance Enablement report found that in the post-pandemic era, employees are more willing than ever to switch jobs for better career development opportunities. At the same time, employee engagement has become increasingly fragile, with growing concerns around quiet quitting and lower levels of motivation.

The surprising truth is, most employees would rather not jump ship at all. A majority would prefer to grow within their current organization. In fact, 75% of those surveyed in that report say they would prefer to progress their careers with their current company.

Unfortunately, more than half of employees can’t. They simply don’t see a clear path to advancement in their current company, or feel their employers don’t fully support their career aspirations.

Our latest eBook, Avoiding the Engagement and Retention Cliff: How Better Career Development Can Keep Employees in Place and on Track explores how you can meet emerging employee development needs and ensure they not only see a future for themselves at your company —  but also stay motivated to deliver their best work.

In this eBook, we highlight some of the compelling insights from our 2023 State of Performance Enablement Report on the current state of employee engagement and retention. 

It is a wake-up call for organizations that want to stay ahead of the curve, with actionable steps around setting up regular career discussions, creating actionable career plans, establishing accountability for growth, doing career path mapping, and providing better tools and training for managers.  

Focusing on career development now is vital

Our ebook will provide you with insightful data, analysis, and strategies to enhance your organization’s career development practices, helping you better understand:

  • Why a lack of career advancement and professional growth harms retention. Our research finds that a lack of these are leading reasons why employees look for the exit door.
  • How to harness career advancement and professional development as tools to retain your workforce. Only a small percentage of those surveyed in our recent report told us they think their employer fully supports their performance and career aspirations. 
  • The crucial role of managers as coaches in nurturing employees’ career aspirations and goals. Some employees found their managers to be an outright hindrance to their careers.

Learn about the resources managers need to avoid that perception:

  • Why companies need to get ahead on career development now, with millennials and Gen Z set to dominate the global workforce. 
  • How to lay the groundwork for important and regular career conversations between employees and managers. 
  • Tips for mapping clear development paths and providing the necessary infrastructure and tools to support career growth. We also discuss ways to establish fair assessment systems that position employees for advancement and incentivize them to stay — including calibration for performance management. 

Practical steps to support career growth and retention

You can also download our complementary checklist Checklist: 8 Ways to Support Employee Career Growth — which offers actionable steps for managers and organizations to support their employees’ growth and retention.

At the manager level, we recommend several actions you can take and explain them in greater detail:

  • Establish regular career conversations
  • Formulate a career advancement plan
  • Establish accountability

For organizations, we also highlight five key actions that can foster a conducive environment for career growth:

  • Clear pathways for career progress
  • Enhanced support for managers
  • Ease of advancement for employees
  • Organizational support for transitions
  • Fair performance ratings

This checklist is a terrific accompaniment to our eBook  — and both publications are important reads for those seeking to enhance their employees’ career satisfaction and engagement, retain talent, and cultivate a vibrant, productive workforce.

Give Employee Reasons to Stay

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