Giving employees clear career paths is a no brainer….

If these stats don’t convince you, I don’t know what will.

I’ve been staring at employee engagement, retention and attrition stats for months as we prep to launch our new Internal Mobility product at untapt (Non-HR translation: Giving companies a platform to offer their tech talent jobs in said company).

Since providing employees with career advancement opportunities — and giving companies a tool do so — is the main point, we wanted to validate what’s currently going on right now inside companies.

I gotta tell you, the disparities I saw were somewhat….alarming…. but also point to a simple solution.

Let me run through some data stories for you:

Job hunting is probably happening at your company while you read this.

I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news if you weren’t already aware of this, but it’s highly likely that many of your employees are looking for new jobs. And unfortunately, they’re all looking at the outside market.

Oh boy… it’s really bad for Millennials

What are the employers doing and thinking?

  • More than half of all organizations worldwide have difficulty keepingsome of their best employees.
  • 60% of HR leaders believe that their company provides employees with a clear career path; only 36% of employees agree. (UH……)
  • 56% of executives say promoting loyalty is “not a major focus, but valued nevertheless”. (DOH!)
  • 68% of employees say their managers aren’t actively engaged in their career development. (UGH!)

Don’t worry, there’s an easy answer

Employees actually want to stay with you….!

Hey. HEY! In case it isn’t obvious yet (if not, please read these last three bullet points again), a really simple way to fix this is to make sure your employees know they can move their careers forward without ever leaving your side.

If you ask me, this is more important and more tangible than employee engagement (though I won’t at all dismiss the importance of that at all). In fact, if you combine it with true employee engagement (that doesn’t mean a futball table and free lunches), you’re golden.

Not convinced it’s that important? Ask yourself these simple questions:

  1. Why did most of your employees go to school? To get a start on a career that they wanted to follow for the long-term. You don’t spend 4 years in school to consciously “try out” a career for a year once you graduate, despite whether you ultimately decide the career isn’t for you.
  2. What does almost every single working person hope for in a career? To progress, to climb, to grow, to get better, to get paid more, to be the best… whatever it is, it isn’t to just sit there in the exact same job for 40 years.
  3. What’s been one of the most important, long-term drivers for youI’ll bet it was career advancement.

I’ll say it again. One of the most impactful answers to employee retention is also one of the simplest — make sure they know they can continue on their desired career path inside your organization.

This is how you compete with outside market, and create a workforce that’s loyal and high-quality.


Kate is CCO of untapt and Founder of FactorZero. A marketer by trade, she's had varied roles as President of Girls in Tech, Founder of Other Side Group, Executive Director of Digital and Social Media at Syracuse University, and has been in and around startups her entire career. She writes for a bunch of places including Forbes and Entrepreneur, and dabbles (a lot) in women in technology and entrepreneurship stuff, startup stuff, good craft beer, hard cider and hops farming, skiing, hiking and playing music.