Continuing with the theme of Good Work from the previous blogs, I will look at progression in this blog but approach it from a different angle. Progression is closely linked to job satisfaction and wellbeing, key pillars to the Good Work philosophy.
The immediate thought when it comes to progression is when an employee is promoted, but there are other areas worth considering from a behaviour and labour market viewpoint.
Where does the habit of progression start?
The education system develops pupils through progression. The habit is set early on as a child moves through education into their adult years with the development of knowledge and skills. Those educational and vocational skills along with life skills are then taken forward into their first job.
From an employer’s perspective, it’s important to be aware of this pattern because continued learning and development has been embedded into us from an early age, whether we realise it or not, and could be a reason why progression contributes to job satisfaction.
Progressing through unemployment
Another area of progression is moving from unemployment to employment – growth can be achieved while being unemployed. Individuals are willing to invest time to progress, including into employment for the first time (see the section ‘Learning outside of work’).
In the UK, this is where Job Centres play a part in progressing individuals from unemployment into work. They have access to employment provisions such as JETS, Work and Health programme and IPES to provide job search support, training and in work support where required.
Employers can contact charities such as Shaw Trust, who provide these employment provisions, and hire individuals who have had the necessary support to enter and sustain work.
Learning through experience
In addition to education, work experience is what employers look for when making promotions and filling job vacancies. Entering work for the first time or switching careers can be very challenging. For these types of individuals, it’s essential to have experience and transferable skills. This is where volunteering and internships help and where employers can offer more opportunities. These allow individuals to add the necessary skills and experience to their CV and improve their chances of securing sustainable work.
Learning outside of work
A survey completed in 2017 by the Department of Work and Pensions indicates that three quarters of learners (75%) did so for work or career related purposes and 24% for leisure and personal interest. This shows that most learners are keen to progress in their chosen careers and are willing to invest time to achieve this.
The same survey also found that over half (55%) participated in work-related learning and 41% learnt independently. This is interesting because it shows that learners are keen to go on courses whether it is offered/supported by an employer or not.
These figures are important for employers to understand because they indicate that employees are willing to invest their personal time (approximately 41% of learners) to progress in their career. The question is, can employers do more to support employees so that they are not only doing courses that are required for the job role but are also doing courses that they feel would have a positive impact on their long term career ambitions.
The desire to progress
At the core of progression is the desire of the individual to grow and move forward in their career. This has been embedded in us from an early age.
An article by the BBC states that in the US the average work tenure of 25 to 34 year olds (key development age range) is 2.8 years. If UK figures are similar to the US, then this indicates in the time between the age of 25 and 34 a person would have worked at three different organisations. One of the reasons for this can be the eagerness to progress and if this desire is not being fulfilled in one workplace then individuals are willing to move onto something new.
The labour market is continually evolving and it’s essential for employers to keep up with market and behaviour trends especially when it comes to career progression and ultimately remaining attractive in the market by offering Good Work. The desire to progress has been embedded within us from an early age and to promote satisfaction and loyalty employers must stay on the front foot to encourage employees to commit their longer-term futures to them.
Would you like to start a conversation with an organisation committed to helping you improve the diversity and engagement of your workforce? Get in touch and we’ll gladly help you understand how Good Work can support your recruitment strategy. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Jags Lota, Marketing Content Officer at Shaw Trust.
Did you miss the last blog? Click here to read the blog about how employers can support staff wellbeing.