Even in uncertain times, organisations shouldn’t minimize the importance of supporting their employees’ career advancement. If you do, you risk undermining morale and productivity as talented workers leave feeling they couldn’t progress. Over time, you could face the prospect of losing employees to competitors once the job market becomes more fluid. But progression is not all about promotions and pay bands. In fact, for many, wages are not often the main priority. For example, having more work life balance and receiving training and development opportunities rank higher when individuals are asked what matters to them in employment.

12% of employees leave their job because they want more money. (CareerBuilder, 2018)

As an employer, you should find out what attracts, retains and inspires employees at your organisation, as well as what they see as barriers to their progression.

Understanding who progresses…

When thinking about progression in your organisation, it is important to know if your organisation has common routes of career progression or stagnation for certain roles.
Evidence suggests that it is common for organisations to intentionally, or unintentionally, have roles that fast-track individuals to positions of leadership. It is important to recognise what this looks like in your organisation.

For instance:
Is it common for individuals who perform certain roles to be promoted over other roles?
Is there a common trend in the experience of those in leadership positions in your organisation?
Are individuals typically from the same gender, race or social economic background?
It is important to identify how frequently individuals are promoted internally from different teams in your organisation, it is equally important to establish who these individuals are.

We recommend organisations develop systems that can gather data on staff members when they join an organisation. This will allow you to look back over time and explore changes to your organisation. We recommend collecting data on the following…

  • Social Metrics
    Socioeconomics play a crucial role in understanding who progresses in an organisation. Those from lower socio-economic backgrounds take on average 18 months to reach senior roles than their colleagues from higher socio-economic backgrounds.
  • Mental Health
    Creating systems that encourage mental health disclosures is critical to the progression of those with mental health needs. Almost half (48%) of UK employees believe disclosing a mental health condition to their line manager will impact their career progression.
  • Change Over Time
    Finally, it is important to track the progress you are making around career progression. Have you seen an increase in individuals from the roles you identified as having low mobility? Has you seen a change in the gender, ethnicity or social class of individuals who are being promoted.