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

January 17, 2023

Screening talent

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

SANTA MONICA, Calif. – Jan. 17, 2023 – Cornerstone OnDemand, Inc., a leader in talent experience solutions, today announced findings from its 2023 global research study focused on talent mobility trends and the urgent demand for 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, reveals the business imperatives of 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 North America, Europe 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 rearview 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.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Employees crave a strong career mobility strategy. The study found that 73% of workers today want to know about career opportunities inside their organization, and employees who don’t have visibility into internal career opportunities are nearly three times more likely to say they wouldn’t be interested in other jobs at the company.

  • Career mobility creates a direct correlation to improved employee retention. The research revealed that workers who do not have visibility into internal career opportunities are 61% more likely to have plans to quit their job. More than half of employees say that having the opportunity to explore other career opportunities internally would make them more likely to stay in the job.

  • Visibility is a critical component in employee satisfaction. Forty-seven percent of employees surveyed said they would be more satisfied in their work if they had more opportunities to explore careers internally. Additionally, employees who don't have visibility into internal career opportunities are nearly three times more likely to say they wouldn’t be interested in other jobs at the company.

High-Performing Organizations Prioritize 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 organization, 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. Talent mobility, delivered through a supportive manager and set of exploratory tools, continues to be a critical path to reconnecting people and giving them opportunities to feel like they are valued and belong.

Employee Interest in Growth Opportunities Spans Demographics

The 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 organization size, proving the growing need for fostering people potential on a more personal level.

  • Women were roughly 33% more likely than men to say they would like to explore projects that help them learn new or different skills.
  • 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.
  • Employees in larger organizations (1,000+ employees) prioritize projects that let them explore other internal opportunities without risking their current position.

Technology Enables a New Kind of Talent Experience

The research also highlights the profound impact that using technology to manage career development can have for both employee career satisfaction and organizational success. A significant finding from the study revealed a strong employee preference in using technology to explore career options first, over speaking directly with a manager. Employees are 80% more likely to prefer a self-service technology option over a manager conversation for an initial understanding of what internal career opportunities exist. Additionally, employees who have access to self-service technology for career mobility exploration are 50% more likely to stay with their organizations compared to those with no visibility.

Commentary on the Study

“Internal talent mobility technologies are, in many ways, still a newer concept, but their ability to meet the needs of both the organization 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 organization, and employees will have the control and freedom over their career trajectory, creating a win-win situation.”

“Our 2023 research study is a prime example of the heightened interest and imminent need for talent mobility and clear visibility into growth opportunities within organizations,” said Himanshu Palsule, CEO, Cornerstone. “People want to grow. They want the freedom and skills to take on new challenges in the workplace. Employers who aren’t providing their people with access and visibility are missing a key opportunity to build deeper connections and maintain relationships with their high performers. This is why Cornerstone is relentless in our goal of providing people-centric experiences, with a platform that gives employees a clear path to hone existing skills and develop new ones.”

Speaking to the significant impact that internal talent mobility can have on broader business success, Palsule adds, “The economic climate ahead is uncertain. Many businesses are slowing or even pausing hiring altogether, making it difficult for today’s HR leaders and recruiters to address key initiatives and skills shortages by simply adding new roles. This means it is more critical than ever for organizations to help people develop the skills that they, and the business, both need in order to thrive through a tumultuous macro-climate. Your people and your organization are seeking the same thing – opportunities to reinvent themselves, contribute and belong.”

For more information about the 2023 report findings, view the full version of the 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 organizations modernize 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.

Media Contact 

Carolyn Harding, Cornerstone

charding@csod.com

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