Workforce Watch List: Career Goals

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This is part three of a three part blog series which presents data from a recent Adecco survey. In part one, we discuss office habits and in part two we explore vacation habits. Check them out for some great workforce insights!

Despite all the turmoil facing the workforce in the past couple years, American career goals have remained consistent. According to a recent Workers Insight Survey conducted by Adecco, the top two career goals are increasing pay (53 percent of respondents) and maintaining a better work-life balance (46 percent of respondents).

Additionally, 26 percent of respondents said their goal was to get promoted and 15 percent of respondents said they want to improve their relationship with their boss.

Trends per demographic

While these trends hold consistent throughout all respondents, Millennials have the most ambitious 2014 career plans. Of the Millennials surveyed, 43 percent want a promotion (compared to 30 percent of Gen X and 17 percent of Boomers) and 67 percent want a raise (compared to 58 percent of Gen X and 44 percent of Boomers).

Another demographic trend we saw was men are more likely than their female counterparts to want a promotion (33 percent compared to 21 percent) and they are also more likely to desire a better work life/balance (50 percent compared to 41 percent).

Obstacles to success

While Americans have big career goals for 2014, they feel the biggest obstacle to achieving their career goals is their employer. Over one quarter of respondents (27 percent) do not believe there is upward mobility within their company; 13 percent feel they lack support from their manager and another 13 percent feel there is a lack of company-sponsored training.

This lack of company training is especially interesting because 9 percent of respondents believe the limitations in their personal qualifications are the reasons they will not achieve their career goals.

Other obstacles to achieving 2014 career goals include a lack of motivation and employee disengagement with their current job (15 percent). Despite their stated ambitions, younger generations are more likely to be unmotivated than their older counterparts—21 percent of Millennials and 20 percent of Gen X report feeling this way, while only 11 percent of Boomers feel unmotivated in their current position.

Reasons to care

As the recession moves further behind us, employers need to be aware of their employees perspectives. Employees are less accepting of “tightening their belts” and doing the work of two people, they want to be paid well and they want to be able to leave work behind when they go home.

Those companies who cannot provide employee balance will start to see turnover. Employees are more confident in their job prospects, in fact 23 percent of respondents say their goal for 2014 is to find a new job.

As an employer, it’s important to work with employees to provide opportunities and resources that help them reach their career goals to the benefit of everyone.

What do you think about the data presented in this blog series? Let us know your thoughts! Post a comment, Facebook us or Tweet us. Make sure to use the hashtag #watchlist.

Adecco is equipped to staff your team with workers that will meet and enhance the culture you’re nurturing with your team.  Whether you’re a large company or a small business, we have the resources and expertise you need to achieve success.

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