Despite the high value that employees and employers place on career
advancement opportunities, many organizations say their career
management program efforts are falling short, according to a new survey
from global professional services company Towers Watson (NYSE, NASDAQ:
TW). The survey cites several factors for career management programs
missing the mark, including poorly designed career paths, ill-equipped
managers and ineffective use of technology.
The Towers Watson Talent Management and Rewards Survey found that only
about a third (37%) of North American (U.S. and Canada) companies say
their employees understand how they can influence their careers; just
under half (44%) say that employees are actually able to achieve career
advancement given the structure and tools currently in place. These
findings are especially noteworthy, as the survey also revealed that
employers say career advancement is the second-most cited reason that
employees join an organization and lack of career advancement is the
most often cited reason they would leave. Previous Towers Watson
research shows that employees also report career advancement as a key
reason they join or leave a company.
"With employers becoming increasingly concerned about attracting and
retaining top talent, this is an ideal time for them to place a much
higher priority on their career management initiatives," said Laura
Sejen, global leader of rewards at Towers Watson. "The fact that so many
organizations are falling short in their career management efforts is
worrisome given how important development and advancement are to
employees and employers, and the high stakes that are tied to
effectively managing talent."
The survey identified several reasons why organizations are missing the
mark with their career management programs, including:
Career paths are poorly defined. Only one out of three
respondents has defined vertical career paths, and fewer (25%) have
dual career paths for managers and individual contributors.
Companies are not leveraging technology effectively. Even
though two-thirds (67%) of organizations are already using technology
to provide access to learning and development programs, less than half
(44%) make effective use of this technology.
Managers are ill-equipped to handle key aspects of career
management. Only one in four respondents say managers are
effective at providing career management support to employees.
Relatively few organizations even know if programs are working.
Less than four in 10 (38%) monitor the implementation of career
management programs to ensure they are consistent with their
objectives and guidelines.
"Career management initiatives should be a key component of any
organization's total rewards programs, and companies can take steps to
improve their overall effectiveness," said Keith Caver, North America
leader, talent management and organizational alignment at Towers Watson.
"First, organizations should ensure that career maps and paths not only
reflect HR and business strategies, but also provide a framework for
communicating with employees. Second, managers should be trained to
identify and communicate career opportunities tailored to each
employee's skills and experience. Finally, organizations can use
technology to improve career management tools and resources."
About the Survey
The 2013 Towers Watson Talent Management and Rewards Pulse Survey was
conducted in August 2013. A total of 160 organizations, including 124
from the U.S. and 36 from Canada, participated in the survey.
About Towers Watson
Towers Watson (NYSE, NASDAQ: TW) is a leading global professional
services company that helps organizations improve performance through
effective people, risk and financial management. The company offers
solutions in the areas of benefits, talent management, rewards, and risk
and capital management. Towers Watson has 14,000 associates around the
world and is located on the web at towerswatson.com.
Ed Emerman, +1 609-275-5162
Savani, +1 703-258-7648