Opportunity for advancement employees’ top priority: Survey

Better managed team, flexible work environment also important

Despite workplace pressures and slow growth for compensation, greater opportunity for advancement is the number one priority sought by employees in their next position, according to a survey by Right Management.

“We posed a classic question to today’s workers, what they’re really looking for in their next job,” said Michael Haid, senior vice-president of talent management at Right Management. “We wondered if higher comp would top the list, or perhaps less workplace stress, but we found that opportunity for advancement is number one. That tells us that despite all the workplace complaints we hear most employees are still highly motivated about their own development and careers.”

Greater opportunity for advancement was the top priority for 27 per cent of the 561 survey respondents.

Other priorities included:

• better managed team (21 per cent)

•more flexible work environment (21 per cent)

•better compensation (17 per cent)

•less work pressure (14 per cent).

A "better managed team" may refer either more competent leaders or more considerate bosses, said Haid.

“This is a variant of the truism that people quit their bosses, not their companies, and it’s a key lesson for all organizations when there’s strong competition to attract and retain quality talent,” he said.

Senior management’s main interest ought to be how to engage employees during a weak economy, said Haid. Many employees feel trapped in their current situation and are looking for new opportunities, he said.

Employers should make the effort to demonstrate a commitment to their employees’ career development through varying people’s tasks and responsibilities, shuffling work teams and offering cross-team training.

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