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Advancement overtakes flexibility on workers’ wish lists

Written on May 5, 2023

Employees are displaying a renewed desire for career advancement, according to the results of a recent survey. 

When ADP Research Institute asked workers about important aspects of a job, 40% put “career progression” on their lists, compared to only 23% the year before. That jump was so significant that it overtook “flexibility of hours,” according to the results. 

ADP Research Institute asked workers to identify the factors important to them in a job. Most respondents said they already had the skills needed to advance their career to the next level, and that their employer both talks about those skills and invests in those skills. 

But a continued focus on development will be crucial for both talent acquisition and retention, according to the firm. “Going forward, employers that focus on career progression while retaining and advancing a caring and inclusive workplace culture can better meet the needs of their workforce, both now and in the future,” said Nela Richardson, chief economist at ADP, in a statement announcing the findings. 

Likewise, learning and development pros may need to keep a watchful eye on the horizon. Most workers said they believe they’ll eventually need tech skills that aren’t considered imperative today, according to the institute’s report, “requiring both employers and employees to reframe skill development and training to prepare for the years to come.”