Employers Turning to Career Development to Prevent Job Churn

Most U.S. organizations are increasingly focusing on career development as a way to retain and attract talent, a new survey by Hewitt Associates shows.  

A Hewitt news release said, however, most large employers polled said their current career development programs aren’t effective in meeting the needs of the company or their employees.  

According to the findings, 77% say that career development is more important to them than it was five years ago. Additionally, 89% say that career opportunities are one of the most important drivers of engagement and retention. Fifty-five percent of companies think that both career development and pay—as a rewards strategy—are equally important to employees in today’s economic environment.  

“A year ago, many employers relaxed a bit and felt secure that their top talent would stay at the company because job prospects elsewhere were so bleak,” said Mollie Kohn, principal in the Talent and HR Solutions Consulting practice at Hewitt Associates, in a news release. “But now, with signs of economic recovery, organizations are realizing they need to work hard—and quickly—to limit churn among their most critical talent. Focusing on career development is a low-cost option that can have an enormous impact on workers’ engagement and retention.”  

Few companies polled said they were pleased with how these programs are handled within their organization. Nearly two-thirds of employers (64%) don’t believe they fully comprehend career development and are not satisfied with their programs.  

Not surprisingly, companies also sense that workers are not pleased with the current opportunities they’re offered. Most (85%) report that workers perceive their companies as having “some” or “limited” available career opportunities. Additionally, more than half (56%) of companies say that career development tools are not easily accessible to workers.  

Hewitt surveyed human resources professionals at 193 large employers In March and April 2010.