In 2019, The Institute of Leadership & Management conducted research exploring the reasons why people were considering changing their job in the new year. Common factors contributing to people moving on were poor relationships with managers and organisations not doing enough to promote or develop existing talent (30% of workers aged 41-50 felt that there was no opportunity for training and development in their current role), but over one third of this age group said that they would not leave their job if their work was more challenging (36%).

The research report, ‘New year: is it time for a new job’, therefore provided recommendations regarding talent retention (The Institute of Leadership & Management, 2019).

In this new research, we review the factors that affect employee satisfaction, focusing on the goals people set for career progression and what they are planning to do to achieve them in the new decade, as well as whether approaching a new decade itself might impact employee satisfaction.

Research Highlights

  • less than a quarter of respondents described themselves as ‘very satisfied’ in their current role (24%) 
  • relationships with colleagues were considered one of the most important factors in determining job satisfaction by 77% of respondents
  • only 34% of respondents consider salary to be one of the most important determinants of job satisfaction
  • there are many other factors identified as more important than salary among satisfied respondents, such as access to training and development (68%), being trusted to take on more responsibility (66%) and access to flexible working (63%). The varied nature of these factors highlights the complexity of job satisfaction
  • salary is more important to dissatisfied employees than those who are satisfied
  • feeling undervalued by their managers (47%), lack of growth and development opportunities (45%), and negative company culture (33%), indicate a poor work environment contributes significantly to job dissatisfaction
  • qualifications are important and frequently essential in many roles but training (43%) and coaching (36%) which do not result in a qualification were identified as important for career progression
  • expand professional knowledge (50%), get better at leading and managing (36%) and improve work-life balance (32%) are the top three goals for 2020. There is undoubtedly an appetite for learning, both in technical/professional skills and leadership and management capabilities, and this is not necessarily equated with achieving a qualification
  • women are more likely to focus on building confidence whereas men identified working on their personal brand as important for career success in 2020