Employers are not doing enough to understand and manage their employees' desire to progress and advance their careers.
This is according to latest research from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), which found that one-third of workers believe their career progression to date has failed to match up to their expectations.
In addition, the survey of more than 2,500 employees discovered that more than a quarter (28 per cent) are either dissatisfied or extremely dissatisfied with the level of career training and development offered by their employer.
The findings could have a significant impact for organisations seeking to retain their top talent.
Only 12 per cent of those who stated their employer provides a satisfactory level of career training and development are looking to leave the company, compared to just under a quarter (23 per cent) of the overall workforce.
This highlights the importance of ensuring both employees and employers are aware of the position an existing role fits into wider career development.
Commenting on the findings, Jessica Cooper, research advisor at the CIPD, said: "Although job satisfaction levels are on the up, the data indicates that employers can be doing more to understand employees' career expectations and help employees understand how they can realise these aspirations.
"Employers should be encouraged to think flexibly, ensuring they understand employees' career expectations and how best these can be fulfilled by their organisation, whilst recognising and supporting where this might not be possible."
Ms Cooper also recommends that organisations provide staff with the opportunity to make lateral movements to broaden skills and experience where appropriate.
They should also recognise that career development does not necessarily have to involve progression into more senior roles and that ensuring workers have access to facilities such as elearning can satisfy their yearning for new skills and experiences, which is in turn likely to benefit the organisation by fostering a more contented and capable workforce.