Premium Incentive Products - Inspiration for Motivation Newsletter Features

Feature Story

June 2014

BlessingWhite Research Reveals Career Perspectives

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If one of your goals is ensuring employees are engaged and motivated, it's important to understand their perspective on their careers. BlessingWhite recently announced the release of a 2014 research report on Career, which captures the current perspectives—from both employees and employers—on the topic of career.

Based on 2,000 responses to an online survey and more than 40 interviews with managers and HR leaders, the report, available at, shows that the career landscape is characterized by two perspectives:

  • The employer's perspective shows that developing people is crucial to future competitiveness, but challenging in the face of rapidly evolving roles and required skills. Because companies need to be more nimble, it can be difficult to plan development, create career paths or make long-term commitments.
  • The individual's perspective says that the days are long gone of relying primarily on one's current employer to provide opportunities or a clear career path. The best options for career growth, professional satisfaction and job security demand individuals to build the skills and experiences that make them more valued as an employee. A majority—88 percent—now believe that it's alright to remain in the same role as long as there are opportunities for development and new learning (up from 80 percent in 2007).

However, employees score their companies poorly in terms of career support, and 46 percent believe their next career move will take them to a new employer.

The report shows that employees are fairly definitive in how they control and direct their careers:

  • 51 percent of respondents agreed with the statement, "I don't think in terms of 'career.' When I make job changes, I look for 'work' that is satisfying."
  • 74 percent claim that they "actively manage" their careers based on "clear personal goals."
  • 56 percent of employees report knowing what they want their next job to be, but only 24 percent know what their employer has planned for them as a next career step, and 14 percent are completely in the dark.
  • Only 41 percent of employees expect their employer to outline any kind of career path for them.

So, what are employees looking for as they consider their next career step? Three items dominate as "the most important criterion" respondents will look for:

  • Interesting work—work that challenges and helps people broaden their knowledge (31 percent)
  • Work-life balance (18 percent)
  • Meaningful work (18 percent)

Financial rewards took fourth place, while items such as leadership, cultural fit, job stability and opportunity for promotion fell lower on people's priorities.

Generation Y tends to value financial rewards higher (relatively), while Gen X places more emphasis on work-life balance, and baby boomers place more relative weight on meaningful work.