New Betterworks Study: 75% of Employees Don’t Want to Leave Their Employers, but Half Don’t See a Path Forward

MENLO PARK, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Betterworks, the leader in modern enterprise performance management solutions, today announced the results of its annual State of Performance Enablement global HR research report that show 75% of employees prefer to stay with their employers, but a lack of internal career development and feelings of bias undermine retention, engagement, and productivity. Only 48% of employees see a path for advancement in their company and many still see performance management processes as unfair: 37% who weighed in with an opinion give their employer’s performance management an “F” grade.

“It’s astounding to find out that two-thirds of employees believe their performance process is a waste of time and as a result, most of them do not trust HR,” said Josh Bersin, global HR industry analyst. “This is a loud wake-up call to redesign this process and focus our energy on development, coaching, alignment, and teamwork.”

The Betterworks survey identified what matters most to employees so employers can minimize the likelihood and costs of staff turnover and realize a happier and more productive workforce:

#1: Fairness matters, yet employees see bias: Despite the “quiet quitting” trend, most employees feel productive and confident overall, but fairness is the most important factor in the employee experience. Despite 46% saying their companies had made changes to their performance management process or technology since 2020, fewer than one in three employees think performance reviews are “very fair and equitable,” and 64% see them as a “partial or complete waste of time that doesn’t help them perform better.”

#2: Feelings of bias damage employee sentiment and erode trust: Employees who see performance as very biased are 2.5 times as likely to be looking for work. By contrast, productivity is 23% higher among employees who say reviews are very fair versus those who say reviews are very biased. Similarly, when reviews are considered very fair, engagement is 14% higher and feelings of belonging and being valued are 60% higher.

When employees view performance management as a success, trust in HR and organizational leaders quadruples, while trust in managers doubles. However, when performance management is seen as a failure, trust declines 31% for managers, 37% for organizational leaders, and 39% for HR.

#3: Most employees want to stay and bloom where they are planted, but almost half see a dead-end at their companies: Less than half see a path to advance internally, and 46% of employees say they don’t feel their company supports their career aspirations. Only one-third feel their organizations fully support them in both their performance and career aspirations. Given that employees ranked “internal career advancement” as the second highest reason they would stay (41%) and career growth is one of the top five indicators of a good employee experience, if companies fail to deliver, their employees are more likely to leave.

#4: Managers are central to employee experience and retention and require more support from HR to coach for career development: Employees say they want better and more frequent conversations with their managers about career development. Just over half of managers (54%) feel confident coaching for career development. Better organizational support is necessary for managers in this area. The report shows that frequent conversations and check-ins between managers and employees yield higher levels of employee productivity and engagement and feelings of belonging and satisfaction working for their company. Employees who are satisfied with their career development check-ins are 7.5 times more likely to see a path internally for development.

“Employees want to receive back from their employers what they feel they’ve put in, and they place a much higher value on things like fairness, culture, trust, belonging, and equity, along with career development and pay equity,” said Doug Dennerline, CEO of Betterworks. “Organizations have to reimagine the employee deal to deliver on these expectations. Enabling better performance and career growth through modern performance enablement is a lever that organizations can pull that has an outsized impact on making work better and delivering better business outcomes.”

About Betterworks

Founded in 2013, Betterworks develops best-in-class performance management solutions that enable exceptional results and put employee experience at the heart of how companies align, motivate, retain, and develop their people. Unlike monolithic legacy HR technology, Betterworks’ lightweight and enterprise-ready SaaS solutions for check-ins, feedback, employee engagement, and recognition are built to scale for businesses of all sizes. Our customers’ employees are proven more engaged and satisfied in their roles, which is why industry leaders like Colgate-Palmolive, Intuit, Freddie Mac, Asurion, Udemy, Vertiv, HCSC, and the University of Phoenix rely on Betterworks to manage and enable performance. Betterworks is backed by Kleiner Perkins, Emergence Capital, and John Doerr.


Carole Barrow

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