For employers large and small, the employee retention struggle is real. While throwing money at the problem may seem like a logical solution, we know modern employees value purpose, growth, and impact more than fat paychecks (because our team asked 600+ workers what mattered most to them).

The common thread—and biggest opportunity—for keeping them around? Employee development.

To better understand the current state of development in the workplace, we enlisted The Harris Poll to conduct a national survey of 1,433 full-time employees at 310 organizations.

Survey Says: Employees Are from Mars, Employers Are from Venus

Based on their answers, survey respondents didn’t seem like they were from the same companies or even the same planet. Highlights include:

  • 74% of employees are underwhelmed by their employer’s existing development tools (while 98% of employers claim to offer the tools employees need)
  • 70% of employees would leave for better development opportunities (and 1/3 already have!)
  • More than half (53%) of employers believe their employees have formal career plans, but those who do are few and far between (only 24%)

For companies aiming to keep their best people too engaged and fulfilled to jump ship, these differences in perspective should be a wake-up call. We created this infographic to help employers quickly see where the problem areas are.

Of course, we couldn’t just leave you hanging with these staggering stats … Keep reading to see how employers can close gaps between their development programs and employee needs.

When there are comprehensive employee development platforms out there that can seamlessly integrate career planning into every aspect of daily workplace activities, there’s really no excuse for a one-size-fits-all approach.

Employee-centric development is the only way to get what you want (retention, innovation, and productivity) by giving employees what they need. Here’s how to get started:

  • Help employees uncover their unique career drivers—the top five factors that matter most in their professional journey. This is more than an exercise to strengthen ties between managers and employees. It’s the foundation for all meaningful development going forward.
  • Use those motivators as the guiding force for all development efforts going forward.
  • Check in on each employee’s career goals often (at least quarterly).
  • Tie development initiatives and corporate objectives to employees’ career drivers.

Unlocking each employee’s potential can only take place when development opportunities align with what matters to them.

Peter Brussard serves as the Vice President of Product for Instructure.  Instructure is helping people grow from the first day of school to the last day of work. More than 30 million people use its Canvas and Bridge platforms for learning management and employee development.

Employees stock photo by fizkes/Shutterstock