New Study Reveals Pressing Need for Transparent Growth Opportunities to Improve Employee Engagement and Retention

April 12, 2023

2023 research report from Cornerstone and Lighthouse Research uncovers how technology, culture and leadership can turbocharge high-impact talent mobility

LONDON, UK – 12 April 2023. Cornerstone OnDemand Inc, a leader in talent experience solutions, today announced findings from its 2023 global research study focused on talent mobility trends, highlighting the urgent demand for visibility and access to internal career growth opportunities. The report, Ready, Set, Grow: The Building Blocks for High-Impact Talent Mobility, developed in partnership with the Cornerstone People Research Lab and Lighthouse Research & Advisory, focuses on internal career mobility and spotlights the role technology plays in enabling employee growth in today’s evolving talent landscape.

The 2023 study measured the views of 1,060 employers and 1,000 learners across Europe, North America and Asia about the importance of career mobility and internal growth opportunities. One resounding truth stood clear: as the days of lifetime commitments to a single employer fade in the rear view mirror, employees’ desires to pivot, grow and stretch within their current companies are on the rise. Talent development and internal mobility are a constant demand from today’s workforce, acting as key contributors to improved engagement and retention.

EMEA key findings:

  • According to learning leaders, the primary way the workforce in EMEA has visibility into growth opportunities is through manager conversations
  • 51% of employees in EMEA say that the best way their company can support their skill development is by giving them opportunities to pivot, stretch, and grow
  • Over a third (33%) of organisations in EMEA say their people have visibility into career opportunities through some form of technology

Career mobility technology enables stronger retention

The study revealed the profoundly positive impact, providing career mobility technology has on the employee experience. Across the globe, 73% of workers want to know about career opportunities inside their organisation, and employees who are provided with access to self-service technology for career mobility exploration, are half as likely to have plans to quit their job. They are also 2.5X more likely to say their company is headed in a positive direction.

“Internal talent mobility technologies are, in many ways, still a new concept, but its ability to meet the needs of both the organisation and its employees is clear,” said Ben Eubanks, Principal Analyst and Chief Research Officer, Lighthouse Research & Advisory. “As the talent landscape continues to evolve, employers will need to adopt a system which adequately attracts, engages and retains high-performing talent. With this type of system in place, employers can then effectively build a self-developing workforce that is more inclined to grow within their organisation, and employees will have the control and freedom over their career trajectory, creating a win-win situation.”

High-Performing Organisations Prioritise Employee Growth

The report revealed interesting connection points between an employee’s sense of belonging, their development and their employee-manager relationship. High Belonging employees, described as employees who feel a strong sense of belonging within their organisation, are more interested in all aspects of learning – for their current job, future job or even personal interest that may have no job impact – while Low Belonging employees are twice as likely to say they wouldn’t consider other career opportunities inside the business.

Highlighting the critical role managers play in supporting employee job satisfaction, the research showed High Belonging employees are 190% more likely to say their manager would support their career growth, while employees who score low on Workplace Belonging are six times more likely to say they don’t know if their manager or employer tracks their skills.

“For talent mobility to deliver strategic value to an organisation, it must compose of three crucial components: a supportive manager, a strong company culture and high quality career exploratory tools. Talent mobility plays a major role in today’s business world, enabling people to reconnect with their employer and giving them opportunities to feel like they are valued and belong. And with high belonging comes high performance – a win win,” says Vincent Belliveau, Chief International Officer at Cornerstone.

Employee Interest in Growth Opportunities Spans Demographics

The report findings showed employee interest in exploring new projects and strengthening existing skills is not limited. Highlighting the nuanced results from varying employee groups, the study compared differentiating results based on factors like gender, age and organisation size, proving the growing need for fostering people potential on a more personal level. Results included:

  1. Women were roughly 33% more likely than men to say they would like to explore projects that help them learn new or different skills
  2. People under the age of 45 were about 50% more likely than those over 45 to say they would like to explore projects that develop new connections and mentors
  3. Employees in larger organisations (1,000+ employees) prioritise projects that let them explore other internal opportunities without risking their current position

Technology Enables A New Kind of Talent Experience

The Ready, Set, Grow: The Building Blocks for High-Impact Talent Mobility report calls attention to the profound impact that using technology to manage a career development strategy can have for both employee career satisfaction and organisational success. A significant finding from this year’s study revealed a strong employee preference for using technology to explore career options over speaking directly with a manager. The research showed employees are 80% more likely to prefer a self-service technology option over a manager conversation when it comes to understanding what internal career opportunities exist. Additionally, employees who have access to self-service technology for career mobility exploration are 50% less likely to have plans to quit their job compared to those with no visibility.

“Based on the findings of our 2023 research study, there’s no doubt that employees are hungry for growth and development opportunities, and require increased career transparency. As technology and tools become smarter and more interconnected, the manager’s role in employee growth is changing and AI has the power to align individual career ambitions with company objectives, delivering real impact to the bottom line,” says Belliveau.

“For organisations to remain competitive, they must be willing to lean into employee career mobility. As technology and tools become smarter and more interconnected, the manager’s role in employee growth is changing and AI has the power to align individual career ambitions with company objectives.”

Download the Cornerstone and Lighthouse EMEA Talent Mobility report here.

About Cornerstone

Cornerstone powers the future-ready workforce with a next-generation talent experience platform designed to unite technology, data and content and inspire a work environment of growth, agility and success for all. With an AI-powered, skills-forward, experiential platform, built on an open architecture designed for neutrality and scale, we help organisations modernise their learning and development experience, deliver the most relevant content from anywhere, accelerate talent and career mobility and establish skills as the universal language of growth and success across their business. Cornerstone serves over 7,000 customers and 100 million users and is available in 180 countries and 50 languages. Learn more at

Media Contacts

Susan Hilliar, Cornerstone OnDemand

Rebecca Graham, Firefly Communications

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