Towers Watson: Majority feels career hits dead-end

04 November 2014

Three-quarters of UK professionals say they are hit by the 'dead-end job epidemic', concludes Towers Watson in a new research. As career advancement is named the top reason for professionals to leave a company – currently 41% of UK employees feel they need to switch companies to advance their career – employers should create a clear career development path for employees to keep them engaged and committed to the company.

‘Dead end’ of UK employees
In its recently released ‘Global Workforce Study’ report consulting firm Towers Watson researched the attitudes and concerns of employees around the world. The research shows that 73% of skilled UK professionals feel their career has hit a ‘dead end’ or has even worsened in the past year. The term ‘dead end’ has been used in the past to refer to low-paid workers, but, as the problem is found across all professional levels, the term “now applies to a high percentage of professional positions, where there are limited opportunities to progress and achieve greater financial success,” explains Carole Hathaway, Global Leader of Towers Watson’s Rewards Practice.

Top 5 reasons for joining current employer

In the report, the firm reveals the top reasons to join and the top reasons to leave a company. ‘Pay’ is listed as the most important reason to join the current employer, followed by job security. Career advancement is a close third reason, and in addition, the top reason for employees to leave a company. “A crucial component of attracting and retaining the most talented staff is for employers to be actively supporting employees in achieving their objectives and rising to new heights in their career,” says Hathaway.

Looking at the opportunities given for career advancement, 41% of the UK employees feel they need to find a new job to climb the corporate ranks and 22% say they have not discussed any career development in the past year. According to Nick Tatchell, Director of Organisational Surveys and Insights Practice at Tower Watson, this is something employers should recognise. “With employees citing the opportunity to advance their career as one of the top reasons to choose and stay with a company, seeing a clear path to climb the career ladder is clearly crucial to earning their engagement at work.” Tatchell states that career development is a central component of sustainable business success, and failure to accommodate employees’ needs and wishes might lead to companies losing their skilled professionals. “Without this, ambitious individuals can become disengaged and start looking around for a new role even when other aspects of the job – such as pay, benefits and company culture – are acceptable,” adds Hathaway.

Top 5 reasons to leave current employer