Employees want advancement opportunities more than better compensation

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Not every stormtrooper wants to remain a stormtrooper forever. Am I right, or am I right? Stormtroopers have ambitions for career advancement too. However, one probably can only go so far without  Jedi powers, but now I’m just nerding out on you.

A new survey by Right Management, part of ManPowerGroup, of workers in September and October revealed that the number one priority for those looking at their next job is the opportunity for advancement, beating out better compensation and a more flexible work environment.

“Despite all the workplace complaints we hear, most employees are still highly motivated about their own development and careers,” said Michael Haid, Right Management’s Senior Vice President for Talent Management.

Workers were asked, “What is your highest priority in your next position?”

  • Greater opportunity for advancement – 27%
  • Better management team – 21%
  • More flexible work environment – 21%
  • Better compensation – 17%
  • Less work pressure – 14%

What this means is that workers realize that, amidst the sluggish economy, raises and bonuses may be infrequent and that they are looking for other recognition for their efforts. This also signals to employers that they need to do a better job of engaging employees on career pathing within their organization.

“Employee turnover has been remarkably slow for the past two years, and everyone is itching for new horizons,” said Haid. “In fact, many workers feel trapped in their current situation. Now that’s bad for everyone concerned and the savvy employer will make strenuous efforts to vary people’s tasks and responsibilities, to shuffle work teams, to do cross-team training…to do whatever is needed to demonstrate real commitment to career development and to counter a pervasive sense of career stagnation among their employees. Some organizations are surely on top of the problem, but I’m afraid too many aren’t.”

Now that we’re coming into the 4th quarter of the year, a lot of companies will be gearing up for annual reviews and this can be a great opportunity for workers to ask about growth opportunities and advancement options, whether related to tasks and projects that can then facilitate into a title or salary change. Even inquire about educational opportunities to increase your value to the company.

Here are some other articles that may be helpful to you when determining if you’re in a stagnant place within your current role and if it’s time to step up and ask management for more projects or training on other skills:

Quiz: Are you satisfied in your career?
How to create a career path
4 steps to getting started in a new career

Or check out our site CareerPath.com to help you determine which career is best suited to you!

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  2. Somehow I agree with this article. Yes, most employees do prefer to have more advancement opportunities that better compensations. But sometimes, compensations are also good motivation for them. I think having more advancement Ops while getting better compensations is best!

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  4. The lack of opportunities for growth is a legitimate reason to leave a job as well — especially when the organization promises and then doesn’t deliver. Having a flexible work environment is a big priority for me. -Sarah

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