Careers Matter: How Lack of Career Development May Be Hurting Your Company

The numbers are in and they’re not good.

Employee engagement in U.S. companies continues to stagnate, coming in at 31.9% in June. That means roughly 70% of the employees in any given organization would rather be somewhere else doing something else.

This finding has staggering implications.  Research shows a powerful link between employee engagement and critical business success factors, including productivity, profitability, customer loyalty, brand strength, and employee retention. Engaged employees are the engine driving your innovation and growth, and when they’re outnumbered three to one, that’s a problem.

If you lead a company, your hair should be on fire with this news. Maybe it is but your concern is tempered by frustration: you can probably point to a whiteboard’s worth of programs your HR people have tried in the past that failed to move the needle.

The thing is, companies can’t seem to get employee engagement right despite the time and money invested in surveys and flavor-of-the-month motivational tools and programs. And 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 within the organization.

That’s the focus of Right Management’s new white paper: Fulfilling Careers Instead of Filling Jobs: How Successful Companies are Winning the Competition for Talent in the Human Age.

The paper discusses the critical role that career development plays in employee engagement. In fact, research shows that organizations providing career development opportunities are six times more likely to engage their employees than organizations that fail to do so.

Trouble is, embedding career development in your culture sounds like a monumental, big-ticket undertaking, doesn’t it? One that might slow you down before it speeds you up. It doesn’t have to.  In my experience, meaningful gains can be made in a modular process over time. In fact, the white paper lists more than 10 things you can do now to begin integrating career development into your hiring strategies, people management practices, and learning opportunities. We’ve helped companies large and small take that first step, using a customized blueprint for action that delivers results without sucking up all their internal bandwidth.

The point is, you need to take action – meaningful action – now. Downloading our white paper is a good place to start. If you like what you read and want to continue the discussion, join the conversation at #CareersMatter