Despite wanting to stay with their company long-term, 53% of employees believe changing jobs is necessary for career advancement.

By Maggie Mancini

Although navigating the world of work has been challenging over the last several years, a recent report by Wakefield Research on behalf of Citizens Bank finds that more than nine in 10 (93%) office professionals would enjoy staying with one company long-term if they were able to experience a variety of roles and responsibilities.  

However, loyal employees expect loyalty in return, and employers looking to retain their employees for long periods of time must be proactive in providing their workers with the resources and support that they need. Despite this, just 38% of employees believe that their employers are as loyal as they are. As a result, more than half (53%) see job-switching as necessary to advance their careers.  

This imbalance stems from employees’ belief that their employer will not take a proactive interest in their future careers, says Susan LaMonica, chief human resources officer at Citizens Bank. This is something that 94% of employees agree must occur for them to stay in their jobs long-term, she adds.  

The report finds two primary drivers of employee turnover—career advancement (46%) and better pay and benefits (43%). Close to half of employees won’t even consider an employer that does not offer opportunities for learning and development (47%) or a clear progression in compensation (45%).  

More than a quarter of employees (28%) say they refuse to consider a role with an employer that does not allow them to change positions or departments as they grow with the company. This is why lateral career moves—in which employees take a position at the same or lower level as their current role to gain skills or switch industries—has become so prominent, with 83% of workers reporting that they have made at least one lateral move during their career. 

“According to our recent survey findings, it’s evident that employees place significant value on loyalty, with an overwhelming 88% expressing loyalty to their employer and an expectation of loyalty in return,” says LaMonica. “Despite the tumultuous workforce landscape of the last few years, 93% convey a strong desire to stay with one company long-term if they can experience a variety of roles.”  

Although compensation is a driving factor in most career decisions, the report finds that 59% of respondents feel that having a career they’re passionate about is more important than one that maximizes how much they’re getting paid (41%). This is true across all age groups, with Gen Z (57%), millennials (57%), Gen X (61%), and baby boomers (62%) agreeing that passion is more important.  

Though many employees enter a job with skill sets that could allow them to contribute to their organization beyond their current role, less than one in four professionals have discussed the full range of their skills with their manager more than a few times, the report finds. Further, 58% of workers don’t have a mentor at their company that provides feedback, encouragement, or support.  

The report finds that employers have cultivated an unhealthy digital work environment, with 45% of employees checking work messages before the workday begins and 57% checking their work email or messages several times after leaving work for the day. And approximately 82% of workers report that these after-hours responses are sometimes necessary, with nearly half (48%) saying that their company expects them to send or respond to after-hours messages. Even during the workday, needing to immediately respond to messages keeps 77% of workers from completing necessary tasks at least once per week, the report finds. 

The report explains that nearly seven in 10 (69%) workers find the idea of removing work-related apps from their phone relaxing, indicating that they may need their company’s support when looking for ways to reduce the amount of work they’re doing during their personal time.  

“Given the rapid pace of change and the continually shifting landscape, employees want to join and stay with a company that will help them navigate the complexities facing today’s workforce,” LaMonica says. “It’s crucial that employers not only invest in competitive benefits but also create a culture that promotes continuous learning and supports ongoing growth and development to ensure employees have the skills necessary to thrive amidst the changing environment, setting them up for future success.”   

Tags: News, News Ticker, Recognition & Rewards

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