Last updated: 10.11.14

Talent retention ‘affected by poor career development’

A third of employees feel that their career development has failed to meet their expectations, suggesting organisations need to work harder to retain talented staff, according to a new survey.

The Employee Outlook (EO) from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has revealed that employers are falling wide of the mark in terms of managing their workforce’s expectations for career development.

Of the 2,500 workers surveyed, 28 per cent reported dissatisfaction with the learning and development on offer by their employers, suggesting this is a significant issue that needs to be properly tackled.

However, despite the prevalence of displeasure at the training on offer, overall contentment has increased during the last 12 months.

This was measured using index of satisfaction scores based on the proportion of people who agreed with statements about their week versus people who disagreed. According to the results of the latest EO, the index increased by four percentage points to +44.

Despite this, CIPD warned that although individuals may be happy in their current job roles, the findings still present a clear link between satisfaction with the level of development offered by their employer and plans to find a new job.

Of those that were happy with the amount of career development on offer, only 12 per cent were seeking new employment, compared to 23 per cent of employees overall. Furthermore, 37 per cent of staff said it was unlikely or very unlikely they could fulfill career aspirations in their current role, compared to 30 per cent who said they could.  

An individual's perception of their career prospects was clearly linked to whether the person was seeking new employment. Almost half (48 per cent) of respondents who thought it was unlikely their employment had opportunities to meet their ambitions were subsequently looking for a new job.  

Jessica Cooper, CIPD research adviser, said: “Although job satisfaction levels are on the up, the data indicates that employers can be doing more to understand employee’s career expectations and help employees understand how they can realise these aspirations.

“Employers can also ensure that, where possible, staff are given the opportunity to make lateral moves to broaden their skills and experience, and ensure that employees recognise that career development does not always have to involve progressing into more senior roles.”