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Why does ‘The Great Resignation’ show no sign of slowing down?

The great resignation shows no signs of stopping as nearly a quarter plan to leave their job in the next year and over a third don’t know their next step. According to new research released today by Right Management, UK employees don’t feel supported in their career development goals with 73% of employees believing they have had sole responsibility for it.

Right Management’s research also suggests that whilst 55% of employers are offering all the tools for career mentoring, without proper implementation that ‘benefit’ has become more of a “box ticking exercise” as half of UK employees (49%) said they haven’t received any career coaching in the past five years.

Current career planning systems do not support employees, with an incredible 81% of UK employees having no written career plan in place with their employer, it is no wonder that almost 70% of 16–24-year-olds changed their career plans in the last two years. Employers need to do more to help their employees progress and develop, as nearly a third of people never discuss their career plans with their manager and 42% admit they do not dedicate any time to professional development.

The above, coupled with the overwhelming 71% who rate pay as one of the most important things in a job, has created the perfect recipe for employees to feel underpaid and underappreciated in a candidate led market where people are having to move to develop. The research is clear, career development is just as important as pay but is being left behind rapidly in the focus on flexible working.

Amy Smyth, Head of Career Management at Right Management Europe said: “The right to receive support and guidance about your career is incredibly important, especially in a time when people are unsure about their next move. Too many employers have overlooked their already significant investment in career development and have missed opportunities to develop and retain talented workers at a time when the global skills shortage is presenting huge challenges for businesses. This could be for a whole host of reasons; perhaps employees don’t feel comfortable talking about their careers or leaders haven’t been trained enough in their guidance – either way, companies are failing to maximise a huge benefit, one that employees really do want.”

“Pay is still a number one priority for 71% of UK workers and it is something that will continue to be important for years to come; but, we must recognise the need to create an environment in which employees can achieve more and develop their careers with their current company rather than feeling the need to go elsewhere to progress.

“It’s a little concerning that companies are seemingly putting money into career development, but workers don’t feel supported. Creating an agile culture of career mobility is essential for businesses who can’t find the skills they need externally, as managers can create their own experts; it is also a great way to show employees that you value them enough to invest in their goals.”

Right Management’s findings also revealed that businesses in London spend the most amount of time on career development, with 39% spending 1-3 hours a month working on their professional goals. Northern Ireland spends the least amount of time, with 68% admitting to doing no career development at all. Employees in London also came out top for having a written career plan in place with their current employer (35%), showing the capital as the place most dedicated to career development.

Employers must do all they can to retain the best talent as recent data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) showed that unemployment has fallen, yet job vacancies for August to October ‘21 had a record high in 15 of the 18 industry sectors recorded, with a 388,000-increase compared to January to March ’20. The ONS data also revealed that job-to-job moves were at a record high as the average total pay has increased by 5.8% to meet the grow in demand.

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