Only one in four employees is confident about their career path at their current organization, according to Gartner, Inc. The latest findings were announced today during the Gartner ReimagineHR Conference, taking place here through Friday.
A Gartner survey of more than 3,300 employees conducted in March 2022 revealed that fewer than one in three employees knows how to progress their career over the next five years. Many employees do not feel that they can rely on their managers for help – only 50% of employees report that their manager tailors feedback based on the role they want to move into. As a result, employees are increasingly considering leaving their organizations. The Gartner survey found that among more than 480 employees who were actively looking for a new job, three-quarters were interested in external roles.
“Employees are leaving their current employers for better professional development opportunities (45%) at similar rates as they leave for higher compensation (48%),” said Vitorio Bretas, director in the Gartner HR practice. “Thirty-five percent of employees surveyed said they left their employer for better career trajectories.”
To make it easier for employees to understand how they can grow and change their careers at their current organizations, HR leaders must shift their strategies around three key career growth moments:
- Setting your career trajectory
- Progressing your career
- Achieving your goals
Experiencing Other Career Options
As work is increasingly distributed, employees spend less time working with colleagues in different roles, making it difficult to observe what career options are available. Employees need opportunities to experience career options so they can see themselves in careers in an individualized way.
Progressive organizations are investing in tools like internal networking opportunities and career management support – job shadowing, formal and informal discussions around career goals and aspirations – that provide more personal insight into aspects of various roles and career paths. These investments can boost employees’ confidence in their careers at their current organization by 31%.
Understanding Colleagues’ Diverse Careers
The Gartner survey found that 94% of employees say it’s more or equally important now than before COVID-19 to develop skills outside their roles. Yet, current career development approaches focus on employees growing and developing in their current roles, but not towards future roles.
“HR must show employees that there are many ways to progress their careers at the organization, not just one correct route,” said Bretas. “Crowdsourcing career experiences from colleagues and leaders can help employees connect the dots between their current career trajectory to possible career moves.”
If an employee’s own experiences are unique, seeing various examples from colleagues shows them where they fit among a diverse tapestry of experiences at the organization.
Reflecting Objectively on Your Career
Employees have said that the pandemic has caused them to rethink the place of work in their lives. The Gartner survey revealed 75% of employees want to spend more time on their personal lives, while more than two-thirds report they want to find purpose beyond work. Employers need to demonstrate to employees how a career at their organization can help them get closer to achieving both their professional and their personal goals.
The onus to support employees on understanding how their career can help them find fulfillment in their lives must be shared between HR and managers. Relying solely on manager is risky, as only 41% of employees feel comfortable sharing concerns with their leaders.
HR leaders must help employees think more broadly than their current roles, so they understand how the organization can support personal and professional career goals. This objective career reflection ensures employees use real information as their filter instead of assumptions.
“Facilitating employee career growth is critical for retention and is table stakes for your employee value proposition,” said Bretas.
About the Gartner ReimagineHR Conference
The Gartner ReimagineHR Conference is the premier event for CHROs and HR leaders to learn from the latest research and Gartner experts covering talent acquisition, diversity, equity and inclusion, learning and development, total rewards, talent analytics, and HR technology. Gartner ReimagineHR is taking place September 15-16 in London and October 24-26 in Florida. Follow news and updates from these events on Twitter using #GartnerHR.
About the Gartner HR Practice
The Gartner HR practice brings together the best relevant content approaches across Gartner to offer individual decision makers strategic business advice on the mission-critical priorities that cut across the HR function. Additional information is available at http://www.gartner.com/en/human-resources/human-resources-leaders. Follow news and updates from the Gartner HR practice on Twitter and LinkedIn using #GartnerHR. Members of the media can find additional information and insights in the Gartner HR Newsroom.