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62% of our community define ‘success’ at work as something other than progression or pay

  • Publish Date: Posted 12 months ago
  • Author: Handle Recruitment
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For most people, corporate success used to be easy to define. Linear progression, better pay, bigger job titles and a good amount of years spent at each job meant that you were doing pretty well. But a recent poll of the Handle community revealed that things have definitely changed.

The pandemic completely shifted the boundaries of where and when we work, wellbeing came to the forefront of everyone’s minds, and (multiple) economic crises mean that people have reframed what they value in work. Last year, Gartner predicted that over the next 10 years, ‘we will work for purpose and passion, not just money’, and these results suggest that is well underway.

So what do businesses need to keep in mind? 

In our poll, 37% of people said they defined success as having a healthy work-life balance. For many people, that starts with flexibility. As a recruitment business, we’re well aware that companies define flexibility in different ways. What’s clear is that it is a major priority for the workforce, so people leaders will need to make sure they are weighing up the needs of their business with the needs of their teams to create and sustain a model that works for them. Work-life balance also involves clear, honest and safe communication within businesses. Open dialogue allows people to communicate their needs, and find a balance between their personal lives, and contributing to business goals. 

Growth and development came in at 25%. Generally, people have never enjoyed feeling stagnant at work, but this vote mirrors more modern predictions that in a rapidly developing digital economy, upskilling is going to increase as a major contributor to both success and fulfillment at work. This shouldn’t be restricted to traditional methods of L&D, but rather needs to be embedded into every area of work, so learning can become something that is facilitated by businesses and individuals themselves.

But don’t get too carried away, because 39% of people said that for them, progression (job title, pay) was still their biggest measure of career success. People need to feel properly recognised for their work! 

What this research revealed is that definitions of career success have broadened. Businesses can no longer bank on their best talent being satisfied with a linear approach, and will have to take a multi-pronged approach if they want to keep people engaged, and happy.

This article is included in next week's People Experience newsletter.

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