Seventy-five per cent of employees prefer to remain with their current employers. However, retention, engagement, and productivity are negatively affected by the lack of internal career development and perceived bias, reveals State of Performance Enablement global HR research report by performance enablement platform Betterworks.
The report also highlights that only 48 per cent of employees perceive opportunities for career growth within their company and a significant number of employees still see performance management processes as unfair: 37 per cent who weighed in with an opinion give their employer’s performance management an “F” grade.
The Betterworks survey identified what matters most to employees so employers can minimise the likelihood and costs of staff turnover and realise a happier and more productive workforce:
#1: Fairness matters, yet employees see bias
Despite the “quiet quitting” trend, most employees feel productive and confident overall, but fairness is the most important factor in the employee experience. Despite 46 per cent saying their companies had made changes to their performance management process or technology since 2020, fewer than one in three employees think performance reviews are “very fair and equitable,” and 64 per cent see them as a “partial or complete waste of time that doesn’t help them perform better”.
“It’s astounding to find out that two-thirds of employees believe their performance process is a waste of time and as a result, most of them do not trust HR. This is a loud wake-up call to redesign this process and focus our energy on development, coaching, alignment, and teamwork,” said Josh Bersin, global HR industry analyst.
#2: Feelings of bias damage employee sentiment and erode trust
Employees who see performance as very biased are 2.5 times as likely to be looking for work. By contrast, productivity is 23 per cent higher among employees who say reviews are very fair versus those who say reviews are very biased. Similarly, when reviews are considered very fair, engagement is 14 per cent higher and feelings of belonging and being valued are 60 per cent higher.
When employees view performance management as a success, trust in HR and organisational leaders quadruples, while trust in managers doubles. However, when performance management is seen as a failure, trust declines 31 per cent for managers, 37 per cent for organisational leaders, and 39 per cent for HR.
#3: Most employees want to stay and bloom where they are planted, but almost half see a dead-end at their companies
Less than half see a path to advance internally, and 46 per cent of employees say they don’t feel their company supports their career aspirations. Only one-third feel their organisations fully support them in both their performance and career aspirations. Given that employees ranked “internal career advancement” as the second highest reason they would stay (41 per cent) and career growth is one of the top five indicators of a good employee experience, if companies fail to deliver, their employees are more likely to leave.
#4: Managers are central to employee experience and retention and require more support from HR to coach for career development
Employees say they want better and more frequent conversations with their managers about career development. Just over half of managers (54 per cent) feel confident coaching for career development. Better organisational support is necessary for managers in this area.
The report shows that frequent conversations and check-ins between managers and employees yield higher levels of employee productivity and engagement and feelings of belonging and satisfaction working for their company. Employees who are satisfied with their career development check-ins are 7.5 times more likely to see a path internally for development.
“Employees want to receive back from their employers what they feel they’ve put in, and they place a much higher value on things like fairness, culture, trust, belonging, and equity, along with career development and pay equity,” said Doug Dennerline, CEO of Betterworks.
“Organisations have to reimagine the employee deal to deliver on these expectations. Enabling better performance and career growth through modern performance enablement is a lever that organisations can pull that has an outsized impact on making work better and delivering better business outcomes.”