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Succession Gap Ahead as Workers Focus on Lifestyle Goals

Workers are beginning to draw a firm line between their jobs and personal lives, with employee ambitions for raises and promotions declining compared to lifestyle and wellness goals, according to a recent survey from Visier of 1,000 U.S.-based, full-time employees who identify as individual contributors.  

The survey finds that a “succession gap” is on the way, with nearly two-thirds of individual contributors preferring to remain that way, rather than becoming people managers. Key findings from the survey are below.  

  • Individual contributors generally don’t want to become people managers. Only 38% of individual contributors are interested in becoming a people manager at their current organization. The remaining 62% would prefer to stay as individual contributors.  
  • There’s a gender gap between those open to people manager roles. Approximately 44% of men are interested in becoming people managers at their current organization versus only 32% of women.  
  • Reasons discouraging workers from becoming people managers differ. While 40% of workers don’t want a promotion due to “expectations for increased stress and pressure,” 39% of workers fear “the prospect of working longer or more hours.”  

Only 37% of respondents say that they want their boss’ job someday, and only 35% of respondents agree that they want to enter the C-suite someday. When broken down by gender, the survey reveals that men are more likely to want to enter the C-suite someday (42%) than women (29%).  

The survey reveals that employees are shifting their priorities away from work, instead focusing on spending time with family and friends (67%), being physically and mentally healthy (64%), and traveling (58%). Getting a raise came in fourth, with 54% of respondents. Only 9% list becoming a people manager and 4% say becoming a C-suite executive is on their list of ambitions.  

Even with the deprioritization of work, only 12% of respondents say that nothing could convince them to become people managers. Pay is the primary motivator for respondents—with 71% saying that better compensation would incentivize them to become people managers. Nearly half (45%) say better benefits and 26% say more opportunities for career advancement would convince them.  

Over half (55%) of respondents say that a positive work-life balance is a quality they look for in a workplace, while 41% say flexible work arrangements, and 37% say relaxed work environment. The ability to manage people came in last place on the list of qualities, with just 10% of respondents saying they look for it. 

Click here to see the full results.

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