While workers value a competitive salary and benefits, they are also highly motivated by having opportunities for professional growth and development within their current company, the findings of a recent survey by talent management solutions provider Cornerstone OnDemand survey indicated.

The survey was conducted September 16-30, 2015, among 2,000 Americans aged 18 and over who are employed full-time, and 546 HR managers or higher at companies with at least 50 employees. The results revealed that career satisfaction (19%) and work-life balance (19%) are the top reasons cited by employees for staying at their current jobs. The survey also showed that 29% of respondents left their last job because of work overload and a lack of healthy work-life balance.

When asked what they believe are the most important benefits an employer can offer employees other than a competitive salary and health insurance, 25% said professional growth opportunities, 23% cited flexible work schedules, 18% said cash bonuses, and 12% said other corporate perks and benefits, such as free food and exercise classes.

The survey also found that many employees are prepared to make life-altering decisions and considerable sacrifices in order to find a sense of satisfaction, fulfillment, and purpose in their career: 89% of the workers surveyed said they would consider making a lateral career move with no financial incentive for multiple reasons, including to move to a position that offers greater personal satisfaction (59%), to start an entirely new career (41%), or to take on a professional challenge (40%).

The findings further indicated that while most employees would consider a lateral move within their company—i.e., to a position with the same or similar title and pay grade but in a different department of the organization—only 27% would consider a lateral move to work for a different company, and 66% would first look to see if there was an interesting open position at their current company before looking elsewhere.

According to researchers, these findings suggest that employees want to remain loyal to their current employer, but only if they feel that growth opportunities are abundant. While 40% of respondents reported that they had been promoted in their company at least once, only 32% said their employer encourages employees to work in different departments to gain additional experience and skills, and just 22% said they have already made a lateral move at their company.

The survey results also indicated that many employees would welcome the chance to work in another city. More than three-quarters (77%) of the workers surveyed said they would choose to relocate if given the opportunity, with 67% saying they would be willing to relocate to another U.S. city, and 39% saying they would be open to moving to Canada or the European Union. However, only 15% said their employer offers relocation opportunities.

From Benefit Trends Newsletter, Volume 59, Issue 5

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