Career Evolution – where are we now?

The generational expectations around ‘career’ have changed – and continue to evolve. For many the aspiration to join a company and work their way up is no longer valid. Individuals are seeking flexible roles that build their skills base and can give them exposure to a wide range of sectors and functions – thereby increasing their asset value around employability. Changing roles frequently is more prevalent now than ever before and employers must learn to adapt their employee value proposition to reflect this.

However, how to do this successfully is a question that is very much front of mind for many HR Leaders and was the focus of our recent London HR Leaders Round Table event.

The drivers for these changing times

Our working lives have seen significant change over the last 3 years – helping our employees manage their career development has never been more important given its key role in attracting, engaging and retaining employees.

Societal & Political Change

Changing Demographics and generational perspectives: Geo-political issues, challenging economic environment, Covid, Technology, societal issues such as health and well-being are driving differing outlooks.

Individual Reflection

Individuals are increasingly seeking flexible roles that build their skills base and can give them exposure to a wide range of experiences, thereby enhancing their value and employability – employers are having to reimagine how the relationship between employer and employee needs to evolve.

Organisational Response

Developing the correct initiatives will surely enhance employee retention and engagement, however if the culture of the organisation does not fully support these initiatives, employees will re-think their employability and you may expect to see a great resignation.

Each of these issues has an impact on an individual’s career choices and each is causing people to reassess.

The motivators for employee engagement and retention

When was your EVP last reviewed? Employees are increasingly demanding flexibility around where and how they work with a culture that is inclusive and engaging, which is underpinned by strong company values. Competitive pay and bonuses, alongside a range of other selectable benefits is certainly a good start however building a resilient organisation is key with a value driven organisation and providing an enriching career experience.

• Genuine career development opportunity – surveys have shown that between 40-50% of professionals felt their career had stagnated during the pandemic.
• According to LinkedIn – 94% of workers would stay with their company longer if it invested in their career development.

Are we in a race with no end?

With so many more options available, placing a focus on career has never been more important. There is no final destination, your career, and those of your team, are a process of continual development. You may not be able to get all of the people to stay all of the time, but you can create environments that get most of the people to stay most of the time.

• Get the culture right – review and encourage employees to help shape it.
• Be aware of changing values across society
• Cross-organisation communication – transparency
• Develop your managers and leaders to be more empathetic and changeable with coaching and mentoring to lead effectively to ensure future sustainability as toxic or outdated management styles are increasingly corrosive.

During our recent event, attendees discussed the many initiatives they had put in place within their organisation to improve their EVP such as the flexibility we mention previously which are all great initiatives on the surface, however attendees were in agreement that in order to ensure the success of these initiatives they must have the right culture in place to support this, one that is championed by all leaders throughout the business, yet despite the ‘push’ from HR and people departments – there was still a reluctance to embrace change by some in leadership roles.

Others detailed how their organisation had developed a culture of complete flexibility to suit all employees, with less focus on being present from 9-5, instead focussing on outputs and achieving results.
Generally, the consensus throughout the event was that we are currently seeing a culture shift in the world of work, with people demanding flexibility and expecting more flexible work-life balance, which organisations will need to adapt their employee value proposition to reflect this.


‘Career’ is the golden thread that connects an employee’s choices; whether that leads to internal development, resignation, retirement, a change of perspective or a differing relationship with one’s work options, choices and challenges abound in respect of ‘what’ careers are and ‘how’ we, as employers need to respond and evolve.

Innovation is key and topics such as increased ‘WFH’ is now a given. Is the office dead or dying for many? Not quite but going that way in some cases. Employers need to communicate with workers more frequently; set up improved EVPs; arrange line management to discuss careers; accept that ‘work’ is important but more people are looking to shape work around their personal lives; be creative with benefits and more importantly, listen.
Download our guide, ‘Career Development: The Silver Bullet for Employee Attraction, Retention and Engagement’ to find out how your business might be affected.

If you would be interested in attending one of our invite only HR Leaders Round Table events please contact

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