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Careers Matter: How a Lack of Talent Development and Career Coaching Services Places Organizations at Risk


US employee engagement is low and stagnant, failing to show clear signs of positive movement. Lacking challenges, clear career paths and a sense of belonging, many employees feel increasingly detached from their work. 

Right Management’s groundbreaking research, based on a representative sample of employees and leaders across the U.S. and Canada, reveals similar low engagement levels and new and surprising insights for HR and people leaders.

According to “The Engagement Illusion” report, it’s much worse than leaders think. The research unearths a widespread engagement crisis hidden behind an illusion of perceived worker satisfaction. In fact, 83% of leaders mistakenly believe their employees are fully engaged and happy with their organization, but only 48% of workers agree. With so many leaders out of step with their employees, it is clear that many organizations fail to nurture careers with purpose, develop talent effectively and provide adequate support for their people, leading to a host of potential organizational risks. These include productivity losses, increased costs, lower customer ratings, decreased profitability and retention concerns.

These risks make the engagement crisis a big problem for employers. Therefore, it should be addressed immediately and strategically by developing a talent management strategy focused on career coaching services and promoting meaningful careers within organizations. 

A Lack of Career and Talent Development Is Hurting Organizations 

Research shows a powerful link between employee engagement and critical business success factors, including productivity, profitability, customer loyalty, brand strength and employee retention. Low engagement costs US organizations $1.9 trillion in lost productivity nationally, whereas organizations with highly engaged employees achieve 29% higher revenues on average. 

Fully engaged employees are undoubtedly the engine driving innovation, growth and organizational success. When they’re outnumbered, that’s a problem. 

Insights like these are likely frustrating to many HR and people leaders, especially since so many wrongly believe their programming has developed highly satisfied and engaged employees. With profits, productivity and employees’ well-being on the line, talent management strategies must be built, enhanced and reimagined.

Developing a Talent Management Strategy with Career Coaching Services and New Talent Development Approaches 

Many organizations can’t get employee engagement right despite the time and money invested in surveys and flavor-of-the-month motivational tools and programs. That’s the crux of the problem. Sustainable improvement is impossible at the programmatic level; it requires a fundamental shift in the employer-employee relationship and a conscious focus on promoting careers with purpose within the organization. 

Careers used to be defined primarily within an organizational context. Today, a career is seen as an individual’s journey to deepen and broaden skills and capabilities. An employer can participate in, influence and gain value from this journey but cannot control it. Unless organizations recognize this new reality and are willing, prepared and structured to prioritize employee talent and career development, they will find it challenging to engage, attract and retain the talent they need to succeed in a competitive market. 

“The Engagement Illusion” report reveals that developing a talent management strategy focused on career development opportunities (e.g., career coaching, leadership and skills training, and educational seminars) significantly enhances employee engagement. Career coaching services, in particular, help employees clarify their career aspirations, identify strengths and areas for growth, and develop actionable plans for progression within the organization. By ensuring your employees create and maintain meaningful career journeys with valuable training and coaching guidance, organizations gain a sustainable pipeline of highly skilled, engaged and loyal workers.

Partnering with talent management firms with expertise in building engagement through coaching and the latest talent development approaches will help organizations take the necessary steps toward mitigating risks and maximizing success. With the engagement crisis impacting industries across North America, organizations must take meaningful action now. 

Downloading “The Engagement Illusion” report is a good place to start. It provides insights into navigating the engagement crisis and mitigating the risks associated with low engagement. If you like what you read and want to continue the discussion, send us a note.


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