Learning & Development

Career Development Programs Are on the Rise

Rewarding employees goes above and beyond base salaries, and with that in mind, companies are prioritizing career development more than other alternative rewards, benefits, and bonuses. According to new research, career development program expansion is viewed as a way to engage and retain workers.

Across all employee levels, career development programs are most likely to expand in use over the next year as employers focus on engaging and retaining employees, says the research by the Hay Group Division of Korn Ferry.
In Hay Group’s recent study, 9 out of 10 organizations employ alternative methods of rewarding employees, including career development programs, as part of their human capital strategy, says a press release.
Across all employee levels, career development programs are poised to see the biggest expansion in use during 2016. More than half of respondents indicate they intend to expand the use of career development programs across all employee levels, supporting the creation of a stronger “bench” of employees with the hard and soft skills needed to assume more challenging roles within organizations.
“These findings underscore what we are seeing with our clients and their focus on putting together career development frameworks across the entire organization—from the staff support ranks up to executive levels,” said Tom McMullen, rewards practice leader at Hay Group.
“Even within the upper echelons, career—and leadership—development opportunities are critical to developing the competencies that can help elevate employees to the C-suite or prepare them to take on new functional roles.”
Hay Group’s global employee opinion database reveals that a lack of career development opportunities is the number one reason why employees leave organizations.
The “Alternative Employee Rewards Survey” findings indicate leaders are addressing—and elevating—this issue within their organizations and building career development into their broader total rewards strategies.
The Hay Group survey results show that leaders recognize the growing importance of a total rewards strategy, which includes programs such as career development. This strategy goes much further than base salary, cash incentives, and traditional benefits, to add perceived value to what the organization offers its employees—and to help attract, engage, and, particularly, retain talent in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
Note: The Korn Ferry Hay Group Alternative Employee Rewards study analyzed data from 242 medium- to large-size organizations in the United States, primarily from the human resources function. Data was gathered in February 2016.

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