More Than Half Of Employees Around The World Don’t Have Opportunities For Growth

Jacob ShriarDirector of Content at OfficevibeMore about Jacob

For a while now we’ve been working hard to be the blueprint for a people-first organization in a technology-driven industry. Our aim is to build the workplace of the future and Officevibe is helping us getting there. OfficeVibe is the simplest employee engagement software that helps us and other companies create greater workplaces through continuous and anonymous employee feedback. Our employee engagement is very important to us and that’s why we keep a close eye on our employee engagement score in OfficeVibe. Unfortunately, this is not the case with many other companies in the world. OfficeVibe wrote a guest blog for us about how more than half of employees around the world still don’t have opportunities for growth within their own company.

We recently finished putting together a report called the State of Employee Engagement that looked at engagement data from 157 countries. The results are honestly depressing, but nothing surprising considering the data that has been coming out for the last 10 years. Companies like Gallup, Deloitte, and other research firms have been doing an incredible job educating about the importance of personal growth and the consequences when it is squandered.

Our report simply confirms that unfortunately, not much has changed in the last 10-15 years. It’s hard to fathom how truly sad this is.

Think about it for a second. There are literally millions of people all over the world that hate their jobs. They’re overworked, underpaid, stressed, unhappy, etc. This has such major effects on society it’s really scary more than sad.

There are literally millions of people all over the world that hate their jobs.

One of the cool things about our report is that it updates in real-time as new survey answers come in. In our report, we discovered many things, but one of the major discoveries was that, as of today, 57% of employees feel as if they don’t have any opportunities for growth at their companies.

Lack of personal growth is, in my opinion, the easiest way to take an engaged employee and make them disengaged. When an employee plateaus and gets bored, they stop caring as much. If it lasts for too long, they’re likely to start looking around for another job.

Reasons For Lack Of Growth

There are many reasons why this issue exists. Sometimes, these issues are out of your control, but it’s good to understand them and think of ways to improve.

  1. Legitimate Lack Of Opportunities In The Company
    Sometimes, there aren’t any actual opportunities for advancement in the company, because of how it’s structured or the stage of the business. That’s not a bad thing and is ultimately out of your control, but you need to be mindful of the fact that employees want to grow. The key to fixing this is to be honest with your team and find ways to empower them, either on projects they’re already working on or by encouraging them to work on side projects.
  2. Lack Of Training
    This problem usually occurs when a company is in growth mode. Everyone gets super busy, and employees don’t get the training they need and deserve. I understand that everyone is busy, and you might not feel like you have the time to train employees, but this is a huge mistake. You need to invest in your employees.
  3. Growth Not Being Emphasized Enough
    Maybe there are opportunities for growth at your organization, but employees don’t know about them or they’re not being emphasized enough. This is a huge opportunity for you to increase engagement on your team. Make sure that you’re emphasizing how much you value growth, encourage your employees to work for those opportunities and help them as much as you can.
  4. Lack Of Autonomy
    In our research report, we asked employees “On a scale from 0-10, how much autonomy would you say you have at work?” and a massive 42% of people said they felt like they didn’t have enough autonomy. Lack of autonomy is a growth killer, you need to make sure that you give employees the trust and respect they deserve. That’s the only way they’ll truly grow for the long term.

What You Can Do

While I believe that ultimately it’s the company’s responsibility to help employees grow, it’s unfair to put all of the blame on your employer. As an employee, you have a personal responsibility to improve yourself and grow. Here are a few things you can do to help yourself grow more at work.

  1. Set Clear Goals For Yourself
    You need to have something clear that you can actively work towards achieving. Goals are motivating and will help you focus your efforts. Remember, the key to setting goals is to make them specific. A personal favorite is the concept of OKRs, which stands for Objectives and Key Results. If you set yourself a high-level objective and then 2-3 specific, measurable results for the next 3 months, you’ll have a clear target to work with.
  2. Speak Up
    One important point about your growth (or lack of it) is that you need to make sure to go for it. Opportunities rarely fall into your lap, so while this might seem obvious, you need to speak up and ask what’s possible. Don’t be shy to chat with your boss privately and explain your feelings. Ask them specifically what you would need to do to get that growth you’re looking for.
  3. Build Your Confidence
    I’ve argued for a long time that confidence is the secret to success. I think this is the most important tip on this list. If you’re confident, you’ll be more likely to go after what you want. On the other hand, if you’re insecure, it’s more likely to hold you back.
  4. Have A Growth Mindset
    A growth mindset, as opposed to a fixed mindset, is when you look at every opportunity as a chance to grow and improve. Many people struggle with staying in a fixed mindset and it ends up holding them back. Having a growth mindset is important for being able to accept change, and be ready to try new things. On your journey to growth, you’ll likely experience failure, and having a growth mindset where you don’t get bothered by that failure, is an important part of growth. 

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