Blog Post

Maximising career opportunities: Key insights for organisations

Cornerstone Editors

In today’s fast-paced workforce, career growth is critical for retaining and engaging top talent. Employees are eager to enhance their skills and knowledge to pursue career advancement opportunities.

Studies continue to reveal how important it is for employees to clearly view progression in their current roles. A recent research study from Lighthouse Research & Advisory and Cornerstone People Research Lab, “Ready, set, grow: The building blocks for high-impact talent mobility,” found that 70% of people were more likely to stay with their organisation if they had continuous learning and training. In EMEA, the primary measure of success for internal career growth is the volume of internal moves, indicating the frequency at which employees are progressing within the organisation. And employees also ranked the top benefits they saw from increased career mobility. Those benefits included being:

  • More satisfied at work
  • More comfortable about their next career move
  • More likely to feel valued by their organisation

To better engage your top talent, your organisation can establish a dynamic career growth culture that supports your efforts to promote professional growth and career advancement. In EMEA, cultural differences play a significant role in career growth strategies, and organisations must consider this when developing talent retention plans. A recent McKinsey & Company article provides valuable information on how to create career development strategies that cater to a diverse workforce and promote inclusion. By implementing effective development strategies that cater to the best and brightest employees, you can ensure that as your people grow, your organisation does too.

1) Employee career development preferences

In today’s rapidly changing work environment, it's essential for employees to take personal responsibility for their career development. Rather than relying solely on their managers or HR departments to guide their professional growth, employees can proactively seek out learning opportunities and explore different skills to build their expertise within the organisation. In EMEA, the number one way learning leaders say their workforce has visibility into growth opportunities is through manager conversations, even though the global data indicate that employees prefer a self-service technology option 80% more than they prefer a manager conversation when it comes to understanding what career opportunities exist.

Our research found that the number one way talent preferred to learn new skills was through experience. This can involve taking online courses, attending industry events and networking with co-workers. By investing time and effort in developing their skills, employees can become subject matter experts in their roles and make a significant contribution to your organisation. In EMEA, 51% of employees say that the best way their company can support their skill development is by giving them opportunities to stretch and grow. They can also proactively personalise their own career path by asking questions, reviewing career options and leveraging AI-powered technology to explore exciting opportunities.

You can support your employees with the tools to create a personalised enrichment and development plan that identifies the areas where they need to improve and sets specific goals for their own professional development. This approach not only benefits your people but also adds value to your organisation by promoting a culture of continuous learning and innovation. Those people and organisations who take initiative and demonstrate a commitment to ongoing professional growth and development will be well-positioned to thrive in today’s competitive job market.

2) Employee engagement and retention through career coaching and development

High-performing organisations have a culture of employee development and continual career coaching that support employee talent mobility. Employees with career-supporting managers are two times more likely to stay with their organisation. And a significant majority (73%) of employees express interest in learning about new roles within their organisation. Effective career coaching can be a valuable tool for helping employees identify their strengths, interests and professional development goals while partnering with talent leaders. However, workers who are unaware of internal career growth opportunities are 61% more likely to consider quitting or seeking alternative positions at other companies.

While personalised learning and opportunity visibility are the top concerns of business leaders in EMEA, there are other areas that deserve attention. Learning leaders have identified two effective methods of supporting mobility, but they are underutilised. These methods include formal processes such as shadowing and stretch assignments, as well as a skills dashboard that highlights skill gaps between current and future roles. By incorporating these strategies, the responsibility for career mobility can be shifted from managers to the workforce, giving employees a greater say in their career growth opportunities.

Coaching careers to the next level is critical for enhancing employee engagement and retention to ensure your workforce is better equipped to contribute to your organisation’s success. The professional relationship between employers and employees must go beyond recruitment to include a genuine atmosphere where employees feel high levels of connection, value and belonging.

3) The power of AI and technology in fuelling career growth for employees

Organisations investing in employee development and talent mobility support a more future-ready workforce with higher rates of employee satisfaction. Pairing curated content with AI-powered technology is essential for fuelling career growth. More than half of employees report that having visibility into available career growth within their organisation made them more likely to stay in their job. In EMEA, approximately one-third (33%) of organisations say their people have visibility into career opportunities through some kind of technology. AI technology helps HR professionals discover new ways to quickly identify and categorise employee strengths to close skills gaps.

Technology is a powerful tool that you can use to produce extraordinary results. Organisations with better engagement, revenue and retention metrics were 65% more likely to utilise technology to offer career visibility. Talent leaders can use AI to make better decisions and provide personalised learning and development opportunities for their organisations. This intelligent tech can accurately benchmark and assesses skills so you can strategically deploy projects, goals, roles and personalised learning opportunities. To personalise learning and development opportunities for employees in EMEA, organisations can leverage AI-powered technology. A recent study by the European commission discusses the benefits of using AI in the workforce. With the help of AI and machine learning, your organisation can access recommendations for development opportunities, auto-tagged content and accelerated career mobility with auto-generated career and job paths.

Building a future-ready workforce: the importance of career growth opportunities

To build a successful future, your people need transparency from your organisation. Career growth is a shared mission and a collaborative effort between employee and employer. It's on your organisation to support them with career opportunities, technological resources and managerial support. Harnessing HR technology with active manager coaching and employee development is an excellent start to forging a path forward for everyone.

To learn more about meaningful and scalable growth opportunities to turbocharge your talent mobility, read "Ready, set, grow: The building blocks for high-impact talent mobility" today.

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