Only 46% of Employees are Satisfied with their Career Development: Gartner

May 23, 2024 thehrobserver-hrobserver-employeegrowthcareer

Imagine Sarah, a mid-level software developer  staring at her computer screen all day as it is, filled with meetings. She joined her company three years ago with high hopes for her career growth. However, like many of her colleagues, she felt her professional development had stagnated.

Sarah is not alone. Only 46% of employees feel supported in the journey of growing their careers at their organisations, according to a survey by Gartner.

“Most organisations are providing managers with resources to support employees and implementing processes to monitor the execution of career development activities in an effort to meet employees’ expectations for growth,” said Keyia Burton, Senior Principal, Advisory in the Gartner HR practice. 

“Yet, organisations fall short in meeting employees’ expectations due to a mismatch between what organizations can feasibly provide and what employees expect,” added Burton.

Gartner survey of 3,500 employees reveals that when organisations close the gap on employee career growth expectations it can have up to a 45% positive impact on employees feeling supported in their career growth, compared to only a maximum impact of up to 8% when these organisations simply try to meet employees’ expectations for growth.

Gartner said that three environmental shifts are making it harder for employers to support employees’ career development: Employee expectations are higher, the workforce is changing and skills needs have rapidly shifted.

“Employees believe they should be growing faster than they are, and they are more likely to pursue jobs elsewhere when their expectations aren’t met,” said Gartner in a statement. ​

Closing the career growth gap

To close the employee career growth expectations gap, companies must identify what employees value in and out of work, and find ways to help employees navigate all possible options for growth. Moreover, organisations must transparently communicate what is feasible for their organisation to deliver and manage against potential consequences. 

“When employers truly understand what their employees value personally, they can increase their employees’ sense of purpose at work, which in turn, makes employees 4.1 times more likely to stay with the organisation,” said Lisa Mitchell, Principal in the Gartner HR practice.

Organisations that consider themselves progressive are prioritising making career growth opportunities more clear and actionable for their employees. This includes collecting information in one place and filtering the information – skills and experiences that employees need for various roles that enable employees to easily grasp the skills and experiences they need to acquire to move in their desired direction.

“Employees are struggling to prioritize career development opportunities, in part due to the large amount of scattered information they receive on a regular basis,” added Burton. 

“Between routine career conversations, information on available job opportunities, and regular performance feedback and development plans, employees can’t figure out the specific activities they should do to prepare for the future roles they want.”


The HR Observer

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