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Reengaging ‘quiet quitters’ through new career possibilities

It’s harder for employers to retain and engage employees these days

By Laura Atkinson | May 26, 2023

Organizations are shifting their response to the talent attraction and retention battle, redirecting their attention towards specific groups of employees.
Employee Experience

Whilst we’ve seen an improvement in employee intent to stay in the latter part of 2022 to above pre-pandemic levels, employee engagement, discretionary effort and energy levels have declined – fueling suggestions of quiet quitting.

Organizations are shifting their response to the talent attraction and retention battle, redirecting their attention to a growing group of employees who are choosing to stay but are increasingly disengaged – creating a pending risk to profits.

Unlocking potential and retaining their talent by focusing on personal growth

The number one key driver of retention is personal growth. Employees who feel they’re excelling in their career and achieving their potential are more likely to stay. While 57% of employees feel they have the opportunity for personal development and growth in their organization, only 34% felt they had a reasonably good idea of their possible career paths.

This highlights an opportunity. If we give employees the visibility and transparency to understand and explore the range of career opportunities that exist to help build their careers, we can broaden their perspective on the breadth and depth of opportunities available within their own organization and challenge the notion that they need to move elsewhere in order to progress.

Leveraging global career frameworks

To help address this, many clients are developing career frameworks to define career levels and organize their workforce by skills. Not only does this create a foundation for HR processes across the organization, it can also enable employees to explore untapped areas for progression. But the true value and impact is in how employees understand and use this framework.

The critical step is in empowering employees to take ownership of their career and explore their potential. This means enabling them to navigate and be inspired by alternative roles or career paths across the organization.

Many employers are yet to fully leverage their global career frameworks in this way and offer practical tools that give employees this visibility.

Tools that:

  • Help employees explore career paths by skills rather than role, opening up new roles and functions they may not have considered previously
  • Highlight potential lateral moves across teams, businesses, and geographies, as well as traditional vertical trajectories
  • Communicate the competencies needed at each level to enable employees to identify gaps in their knowledge and skillsets – and the learning and development opportunities available within their organization to address them
  • Complete the puzzle by linking these opportunities to open job roles

Using technology to deliver an outstanding experience

We’re helping clients put the power of career navigation in the hands of employees with Embark, our digital communication tool. We know that employees want and expect to receive information that is personalized and digital as they do in every other aspect of their lives. Embark helps to mirror this experience for people at work, delivering meaningful, relevant career development content online and via a mobile app.

We can set up Embark so it’s informed by an organization’s career framework, empowering employees to explore roles and possible career or skills opportunities. Such as their next move within or across the business or a relevant training resource that could expand their expertise. It’s simple, intuitive and expands career possibilities for employees in a new and exciting way.

And it doesn’t need to stop with career – Embark is a digital communication channel that employees can use to explore all things HR – from benefits, to total rewards, to wellbeing and beyond.

Whereas offline career tools remain static, technology enables the employee experience around career to evolve in real time. Later this year, we’re launching a new feature that enables push notifications to influence behavior. Encouraging people to think about their progression in the context of objective setting, year-round continuous feedback, and year-end. It’s about bringing careers to life. So we’re not only serving a need when employees come looking but we’re proactively nudging people to reflect on their growth throughout the year too.

Embracing value

Yet many organizations with career frameworks are missing out on these opportunities because employees can’t explore the roles and skills across their organization. The value comes when employees embrace the framework; they are much more likely to do this if the experience is digital, compelling, and personalized.

If the number one driver of retention is unlocking potential, Embark is the answer.


Laura Atkinson
Associate Director, Employee Experience

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