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Home > News > July 2006 > 24 July 2006

IIP unveils research into career development

Less than half of UK employees (49%) are happy with the way their careers are progressing, according to new research by Investors in People.

The research, which looks at the issue of career development across the UK, revealed that when it comes to their career, employees rely heavily on their boss's support.

Two-thirds (67%) say their manager is important to their progression through the company, yet less than half (46%) believe their manager is doing enough to help them.

Meanwhile, managers questioned about their own development were upbeat about their prospects, with two thirds (65%) claiming to be happy with the progression of their career and 46% seeing no obstacles to further advancement.

Ruth Spellman, chief executive of Investors in People UK, said: "This research exposes managers who are failing to help employees reach their full potential. Whilst happy with the progression of their own careers, many seem to pay lip-service to the development of those around them.

"Keeping employees involved, motivated and productive is a vital part of any managerial role, and crucial to keeping the organisation on track."

According to the research, a common problem amongst employees looking to progress their career appears to be the lack of new opportunity or role to move into, with over a third of employees (35%) questioned seeing this as the biggest obstacle.

It seems employers are failing to recognise employee concerns and provide a suitable response. Over one third (39%) of employees claim that their organisation lets them down when it comes to effective day-to-day management support, setting development goals and providing regular career reviews to help their progression.

Ruth Spellman continued: "These findings should concern employers across the UK. By failing to align their people strategy with business goals, employers are undermining the motivation of employees and the development and growth of their organisation.

"Skills shortages and productivity gaps remain high on the business agenda, yet this research shows many employers aren't bothering to take even basic steps to get the most of out their workforce.

"Developing and supporting employees' potential is fundamental to business success - employers must recognise and act on this now. If not, they risk employees taking their skills and experience elsewhere."

Other key findings from the survey include:

* When asked what was important to career progression, a quarter of employees (25%) cited agreed development goals, 23% day-to-day management support, 21% training courses, and 14% regular career reviews

* 25% of 18-29 year olds rate training as most important to their development, compared to just 15% of older workers (aged 50+)

* Conversely, nearly 31% of workers aged 50+ identify day-to-day management support as most important to progression, compared to just 19% in the 18-29 bracket

* 26% of employees in organisations with 1,000+ employees thought training was provided effectively, compared to just 13% in organisations with between 2-49 employees

YouGov carried out the survey of over 1,700 working adults from the UK & Ireland in June 2006.

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