Workers Want Training, Education More Than Higher Salaries: Survey

Workers everywhere want to make big changes to their careers. They’re willing to jump into new roles that offer the right mix of compensation, perks, and benefits—and companies are hungry for them. For managers everywhere, the current conditions present some opportunities when it comes to hiring top talent, but also some challenges related to retention.

What exactly do workers want? According to a new survey by Oracle and Workplace Intelligence, some 73 percent of workers are motivated to make big career changes over the next year. Moreover, 85 percent of them are unhappy with their current employer’s support of their career—meaning their next big career move could involve a jump to a different company.

What would make these workers happier? Here’s the breakdown from the survey. (Methodology-wise, Oracle and Workplace Intelligence surveyed 14,639 C-suite executives, HJR leaders, managers, and full-time employees around the world.)

It’s clear that workers want more opportunities to learn new skills and develop their current ones. To almost the same extent, they also want higher salaries and opportunities to take on new roles and projects. From a technologist perspective, new learning opportunities could include anything from classes on new technologies to certification courses. Mentoring is also key for many technologists; companies that set up a formal mentoring program might boost their chances of retaining valuable workers.  

For managers, simply throwing money at technologists on your team might not be enough to convince them to stick around. Instead, you need to employ “soft skills” such as active listening in order to figure out their pain points, and eliminate those. If they’re thirsty for education, for example, find room in your budget for additional training and classes; if they want more responsibility (and they’re ready for it), consider giving them more projects. If they feel like their career is advancing, technologists are more likely to stick with your company for the long haul.