What employees want: career development for staff retention

As well as a great company culture, an exciting challenging role and a good work-life balance, there’s one thing that today’s best employees are all looking for: career development. According to LinkedIn figures, career development opportunities and structured pathways are actually a deal breaker.

Additional research into why people swap jobs carried out by LinkedIn concludes that career development is the number one reason for both joining an organisation, and leaving a role. 59% of employees surveyed joined their company because it offered better career development options than their previous role. Concerns over a lack of opportunities for progression also led 49% of people to hand in their notice and look elsewhere for employment. More people are more open to changing jobs than ever before, and central to that is what’s on the horizon.

To put it bluntly, career development is key to staff retention.

In its survey of ten and a half thousand workers, LinkedIn discovered that more people left their roles over concerns about a lack of development opportunity than they did because of conflicts with managers or dissatisfaction with the company culture.

This need for advancement is especially important to Millennials and Generation X. So, how do you go about demonstrating that those opportunities exist in your business?

The LinkedIn guide to attracting and retaining top talent shares three steps you must take:

  1. Take a fresh approach to your job description. In addition to describing the role on offer, outline how successful candidates can grow, reference education and training programs on offer and detail how that person can make an impact.
  2. Create case studies around career transformation and share those inspiring stories of your most successful employees developing their positions with you on social media and across your website.
  3. Create a learning program landing page which details tools, technologies and qualifications on offer to employees. This underlines your commitment to learning and development as an organisation.

Retaining your best people

If you aren’t committed to creating development opportunities and career progression pathways, you risk losing your top talent to your rivals. LinkedIn data shows that 66% of millennials think they will leave their current job by the end of this year. Almost all of that group express unhappiness about a lack of leadership skills development in their current roles. They consider this to be an important factor in job opportunities.

By that same token, over half of employers find it difficult to keep their best people. This suggests there is a huge disconnect between what employees expect from the organisations they work for, and what those companies actually provide.

While flexible working hours, remote working and casual Friday’s are all desirable, it should be clear that top talent is ambitious. The younger generation especially has a keen eye on the future and expects their employer to nurture their potential with pathways to promotion and in-house skills development.

Written by
Scott Dylan
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Scott Dylan

Scott Dylan

Scott Dylan

I’m Scott Dylan, Inc & Co Co-Founder. I oversee the company's strategic direction and work to acquire and invest in distressed and viable companies, helping businesses improve their business processes and setting strategic directions.


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