Key trend in Career & Succession Management: redefinition of work and employees' career preferences

Posted by Quinten van Es on Thu, Jul 7, 2016

Run-2.jpgNew attitudes towards ‘full-time employment’ have been emerging over recent years, primarily driven by a rise in the use of contract and contingent labour, more flexible working schedules, job sharing, retirees continuing in the workplace in a part-time capacity, and other working arrangements that would have been much less common a decade or more ago. 

Attitudes towards ‘traditional careers’ have similarly changed as a younger workforce has forgone linear development in favour of experiencing a range of varied and challenging work assignments and opportunities. Employee motivations have also changed; today’s workers have a new focus on purpose and mission, with a strong appreciation of work-life balance.

Employee engagement is now made up of a more varied and complex mix of factors including job design, management style, work environment, development opportunities, and leadership focus. There is an increased desire for diversified careers, greater flexibility and also mobility. In this changing landscape, leadership needs to focus on creating a compelling work environment, with a sense of purpose and mission, if they are to attract, engage, and retain the talent they need.

An important part of this environment involves the creation of career development programmes that can facilitate increasing interest in talent mobility, rotational assignments, lateral job changes, and open career opportunities throughout the business. Internal communication is a key driver for this, with formalised development conversations taking place between employees and their managers in 93% of participants around personal development plans, and 91% for ‘next step’ career development opportunities.

Career paths themselves now need to embrace all possibilities – vertical, horizontal, and lateral. Amongst our participants 89% have defined vertical career paths and 83% defined horizontal career paths. Lateral (or cross-functional) paths are defined within 76%.


When it comes to supporting employees to help achieve their career plans, participants frequently embrace a range of practices, the most widely used being training programmes (99%).

Interestingly, international mobility is used by 89% and secondment is now up to 75%, possibly indicating a higher level of internal mobility in preference to job rotation, which is 70%. Coaching is very popular, offered by 92% of participants, whilst mentoring is less so, used by only 78%.

Four key trends
"Redefinition of work and employees' career preferences" is one of the four key trends we have identified in the Career & Succession Management report. These four trends are shaping the way we approach Career & Succession Management.

Each trend signals a move away from using the process purely to identify future leadership and senior management ipelines, and towards one that helps to underline and enhance the organisation’s efforts to retain, develop and engage their employees.

Download the full Career & Succession Management report to learn all about the current trends in Career & Succession Management and how organisations deal with these trends in their business processes.

Topics: Career & Succession management