Despite the majority of working people wanting to discuss their career goals more often, a staggering 46 percent of Brits have never participated in a high quality conversation with their manager about their career, with 84 percent of employees only talking about it with their employers once or twice a year.

This is according to a new survey by Right Management, the global career expert arm of ManpowerGroup. The Right Management Global Career Conversation Study surveyed 4,402 global employees aged between 25 and 55 to understand to what extent employers are helping them manage their careers. It found that less than a third felt confident enough in their ability to initiate a conversation outside of annual performance reviews.

Ian Symes, Managing Director at Right Management commented: “It’s time for organisations to relinquish career development models that are almost 50 years out of date. Career conversations need a completely different approach to meet employees’ changing needs and ensure an engaged and high-performing workforce. Employers need to start proving that they’re serious about nurturing this ‘career for me’ expectation that the next wave of talent demands. A performance review just once a year falls drastically short of achieving that.”

The study also found that:

  • 76 percent surveyed would feel more engaged in their work
  • 75 percent state they would be happier in the work they do
  • 68 percent say they would be more likely to share ideas
  • 68 percent are more likely to recommend their employer to a friend
  • 73 percent say they would be more likely to stay in the organisation

“The fundamental challenge is that a majority of managers are unequipped to take action and drive the step change required.  Managers fear having meaningful career conversations with their staff as they cannot meet expectations such as promotion or training investment, however careers are changing rapidly and employees are increasingly seeking opportunities for personal growth, new experiences and additional responsibility. If businesses continue to fail to take action, the exit door will continue to become even draughtier and business performance and profits will undoubtedly suffer as a result,” Symes continued.


The research also found a chronic lack of planning for individual careers. Less than half of respondents said that a career development plan was available to them. Just over a quarter thought that a career map that outlines a variety of career alternatives is available.


Practical programmes to develop the skills of employees are in woefully short supply, according to the study. Only 35 percent of those surveyed think that all employees have access to technical skills development programmes and just 27 percent believe there is access to leadership development. Furthermore just 18 percent feel that all employees have access to a coach and one fifth have access to formal mentoring programmes.





Robert joined the HRreview editorial team in October 2015. After graduating from the University of Salford in 2009 with a BA in Politics, Robert has spent several years working in print and online journalism in Manchester and London. In the past he has been part of editorial teams at Flux Magazine, Mondo*Arc Magazine and The Marine Professional.