68% of workers think their career isn't progressing

A quick summary:

  • Career progression meaning
  • The impact of a global pandemic
  • Encouraging employee collaboration
  • Workplace book clubs
  • mentorship programmes

Career progression is a vital quality in every workplace. It’s a process most employers simply can’t succeed without. Why? Because employees who see little to no career progression aren’t likely to stick around for long. 

That said, a new study carried out by IRIS Software Group in partnership with YouGov has found some surprising results. The data highlights a strong opinion on lacking progression paths within the workplace. In fact, nearly half of UK employees are seeing delayed career growth due to inadequate support from leaders and HR teams.  

Heka recognises the importance of a learning and development plan; employees should always feel as though they are on a progressive career path. That’s exactly why learning and development experiences are in abundance on our wellbeing platform

Below, we’re digging into these new findings and looking at ways in which employers can create a culture of learning, development and progression.

Career progression meaning for employees

Career progression, also known as career development, is a strategy or set of initiatives put in place to support employee growth. Whether this is a path into management or simply upskilling staff, it achieves one goal – helping people progress.

The best companies understand that employee prioritise their own progression above that of company progression. The problem is this idea is often frowned upon by leaders who believe employees should be invested more so the company than themselves. And although this is an ideal circumstance for the business, it just isn’t always the case. 

So, companies that recognise this are in a much better position. Not only are employees more appreciative of this kind of support, but they can speak openly about their desire to progress – doing so without the guilt that some toxic atmosphere some workplaces create. 

The global pandemic and its impact on career progression

Like many things in our professional lives, the COVID-19 pandemic threw a gigantic spanner in the works – especially for companies with a learning and development plan. It’s been a shaky couple of years for employees, which has left career progression on standby for millions looking to climb higher. 

That’s not because they’re incapable, but because other hurdles needed climbing first. Colleagues were placed on furlough, and companies had to reshuffle their efforts and attention. This undoubtedly caused chaos for every learning and development strategy. 

IRIS identify this as a major reason why career progression has been delayed and come to a standstill. And although we’re in the aftermath stage of the global pandemic, many companies are still recovering both financially and structurally. While most organisations are also fighting against the Great Resignation, some just don’t have the cash to invest in their learning and development strategy.

As we navigate the halfway point of 2022, the future looks economically uncertain. This could further dampen employee expectations for career progression. Unfortunately, the research by IRIS only paints a picture of failing learning and development plans so far. Both employers and employees will be hoping the economy can bounce back in the coming months and career progression strategies can receive adequate attention and funding. 

Until then, how can leaders affordably create a culture of learning and development? How can they use the tools and resources at their disposal to support employee growth – because if there’s one thing we’ve learnt from the Great Resignation, it’s that it’s only getting greater. 

Encourage employee collaboration

Collaboration has taken a massive hit in recent years. The pandemic forced remote and hybrid work upon millions of people. The problem was, collaboration, especially spontaneously and creatively was moved online – swapping face-to-face brainstorming for Zoom meetings. 

As a leader, you should be encouraging employee collaboration as much as possible. Whether that’s online or in the office, it’s a fantastic opportunity for people to progress. People learn from people, and by partnering up an executive with an assistant, you can help them learn and develop their skills. 

Consider a workplace book club

Book clubs are everywhere, but not so much in the workplace. However, a book club can inspire people to read, learn and share their thoughts. When you’re looking to improve your learning and development plan, consider a book club.

Dig out books in your niche, industry or specific skillsets, and challenge your team to read with you. Knowledge is a huge factor in success and helps people progress at a much faster pace. Some of the best leaders and businesspeople are readers. 

To get started, ask your team what it is they would like to learn more about. If you work in marketing for example, it’s a no-brainer to introduce marketing books to your team.

Create a mentorship program

Lastly, a mentorship program could be a great idea for your workforce. This can be a powerful tool for a multitude of reasons. To begin with, it improves workplace relationships, communication and collaboration. The true potential though, is that both mentors and mentee benefit. 

Pick out some of your best talent, and offer them the opportunity to mentor another member of the team. This will strengthen their leadership and management skills, while providing the learning and development mentee want. 

It’s a great idea if you have a strong skilled workforce and regularly take on those leaving education and just starting their career. Ensure your new mentors have sat down and developed a learning and development plan with your other employees. That way, you know the kind of progress your employees should be making.

Using Heka to improve your learning and development plan

Through Heka, employees are able to take back control of their learning and development. There are plenty of experiences and services on our wellbeing platform for upskilling and learning something new.  

Our wellbeing platform is built for employees, and we understand the role of learning and development in the workplace. In addition to this, there are around 50+ wellbeing categories for users to choose from. 

If you’d like to speak directly with our wellbeing experts, get in touch by booking a demo. Our team will be more than happy to walk you through the benefits of Heka for your team.