Employee engagement and satisfaction levels increase, despite career concerns

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Levels of employee engagement and satisfaction increase

Levels of job satisfaction and employee engagement are on the up, despite the fact that more than a quarter (28%) of employees report being either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the level of career training and development offered by their current employer. The latest CIPD/Halogen Employee Outlook survey found that one in three employees (33%) felt their career progression to date has failed to meet their expectations, however, levels of job satisfaction have increased over the last 12 months, rising by four percentage points to +44. The survey suggests that although employees might be satisfied in their current job role, there is a clear link between satisfaction with the level of career training and development and job-seeking intentions. Only 12 per cent of those satisfied with the level of career training and development are looking for a new job with another organisation, compared to almost a quarter (23%) of employees overall.  The proportion of engaged employees has also grown to reach 38 per cent from 35 per cent in spring 2014, now matching the levels of engagement a year ago.

Following the results of the survey of 2,500 employees published in partnership with Halogen Software, the CIPD recommends that employers who are concerned about retaining their talent should make sure they understand and manage their employees’ career expectations. This means ensuring that both employers and employees are clear about how an existing job fits into wider career development.

The survey explores a number of factors surrounding levels of career satisfaction amongst employees, and reveals that:

  • More than a third (37%) of employees think it is unlikely or very unlikely that they will be able to fulfill their career aspirations in their current organisation, compared to one in three (30%) who think it is likely or very likely that they will.
  • Only 6% of employees who believe they are likely or very likely to meet their career aspirations in their current organisation are looking for a new job, compared with almost half of those (48%) who think it is unlikely or very unlikely that their career ambition would be fulfilled by their current employer.
  • Just under half (48%) of employees report that their career progression to date has met or exceeded their expectations. When asked about the factors that contributed to their career meeting their expectations, the most commonly cited factor was their own hard work and talent (76%).
  • The most commonly cited contributing factors by employees who have failed to meet their career expectations are poor quality careers advice and guidance in school (30%) and being unable to show strengths and potential due to being in the wrong job or career (31%).

Jessica Cooper, Research Adviser at the CIPD, comments: “For the first time this survey asked questions on employees’ careers, revealing that a third feel their career progression has failed to meet their expectations. The survey also shows that likelihood of career progression and availability of career training and development opportunities have a big impact on employees’ job seeking intentions.

“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.”