Seeing a career path in front of them motivates employees to stick with their employer.

While that statement might seem intuitive, it has now been supported by research published by Mercer. Nearly half (44%) of the 1,520 U.S. and Canadian workers who completed the poll said that, “without a doubt,” they would stay with their employer “longer” if they “knew what your career path could look like.”

Another 34% responding to Mercer’s latest quick survey on employee perspectives responded “yes, probably.”  Fewer than one in five (18%) indicated it would not have an impact on their decision.

The clear implication is that if you want your employees to remain loyal, show them a path to promotion.

A large minority (40%) report having a “well-defined” career path, and another 26% perceive a “somewhat defined” career path.

Also see: Benefits pros optimistic about health of job market

Nearly a third (32%) believe what they are doing now is merely performing a job, not building a career. A nearly equal (28%) slice of the survey base reported that, over the past year, they had thought about leaving their current job and moving to a competitor. The survey does not clearly establish, however, the extent of overlap between those respondents and those who see a career path.

The survey does reveal, however, that 35% are not planning to jump ship and lack alternative career plans. And a slim majority (53%) said they “absolutely love” their current employer.

Employers praised

Finally, employers appear to be doing an adequate job of communicating to employees “opportunities for advancement” within the organization. Specifically, 44% reported that their employer does so “all of the time” and another 27% said they do “from time to time.”

Ilene Siscovic, a leader in Mercer’s talent and career consulting practice says “the dynamic interplay of multiple trends – a disenchanted workforce that is multi-generational, skill shortages, global expansion, and gender inequality – is creating real challenges for management.”

Also see: Pay increases remain stagnant, variable pay takes center stage

On a more upbeat note, Siscovick also says that “by defining  advancement opportunities and conveying related competencies, companies can equip employees with the necessary information to grow professionally and financially while improving engagement efforts and optimizing a workforce that effectively contributes to business success.”

Richard Stolz is a freelance writer based in Rockville, Maryland.

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Employee Benefit Adviser content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access