Our 2014 Employee Engagement & Organizational Culture Report found that a paltry 34% of all employees believe they have strong opportunities for professional growth. That leaves 66% feeling like something is being left on the table.
What constitutes a “lack of professional growth opportunities?" Two things. First, uncertainty over what growth opportunities are availabe. Second, a lack of access to training and mentorship for professional growth.
When posed a question about opportunities available for growth, survey respondents expressed discontent:
Nobody has talked to me about personal growth since [I started] 6 months ago. I don't know what opportunities are available for me. Outside of [working in a new industry] there hasn't really been an opportunity to grow, nor have I seen a path for growth. —TINYpulse user
I've learned a lot of skills, but there isn't a clear path to a promotion. I don't know how much revenue I need to bring in to be promoted. It's been [a while] since performance reviews and I've been in the same role since then, and there hasn't been any discussion on how to get promoted.—TINYpulse user
Now that I am working under a new Director I brought this up a few times via email and during our goal review and no communication was relayed to me at all if these objectives and path were still relevant. My professional growth is extremely important to me and it is imperative I know I am working within a structure that will allow for my growth and progress upward. —TINYpulse user
Respondents were equally discouraged when asked about access to training and mentorship so that they could grow professionally:
It would be nice to work with a senior level mentor on a regular basis in order to improve my skills. —TINYpulse user
I do not foresee when I will next have the opportunity to learn from a more experienced developer than myself. I think that will be a significant problem moving forward… —TINYpulse user
Thus far requests for outside training/conferences have been denied. I have expressed career paths I would like to pursue but never received feedback from management. —TINYpulse user
How would your employees respond? Would they be equally disaffected? Today your employees, especially the growing number of Millennials, require mentorship and growth opportunities. It’s probably time to find out whether or not your meeting their needs. Do you know if you lack mentorship or guidance? Do your employees know what their opportunities are? Go get asking. (We know the perfect way to help you find out.)