When a Job Is ‘Just a Job,’ Are Employees More Likely to Quit?

When a Job Is ‘Just a Job,’ Are Employees More Likely to Quit?

A new survey from CareerBuilder claims that a 55-percent majority of US employees feel that they have just a job, not a career, and that 38 percent of these workers are likely to change jobs in the second half of 2017:

Almost three in 10 workers (28 percent) tolerate or hate their job. Of those who tolerate or hate their job, some of the top reasons for staying in a current position are the need to pay the bills (74 percent), its proximity to home (41 percent), needing the insurance (35 percent), it pays well (30 percent), or the job market is too tough (27 percent).

This survey picks up on something that we at CEB (now Gartner) have seen in our latest Global Talent Monitor data: Most US employees across a number of industries cite their future career opportunities as a leading reason for leaving their organization. Given this fact, it is easy to assume that this is a reflection that there is simply a lack of career opportunities available to employees, leading to disengagement and attrition. However, our data shows that this is not the case. We find that 12 percent of US employees we surveyed were actively dissatisfied with future career opportunities at their organizations and only 31 percent reported they were satisfied. The remaining 58 percent are somewhere in the middle—that is, neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, but rather neutral or ambivalent.

This finding suggests that while future career opportunities are a key part of employees seeking a new job, the claim that lack of future career opportunities is driving attrition at organizations is overstated. When we look at how an employee’s satisfaction with future career opportunities at their current organization affected their engagement levels, we do not see nearly as strong as a connection as CareerBuilder reports in their survey.

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The Global Gender Gap is Widening, WEF Warns

The Global Gender Gap is Widening, WEF Warns

The World Economic Forum’s latest Global Gender Gap Report finds that economic disparity between men and women around the world has only grown larger in recent years and predicts that at the current pace of change, it could take another 170 years to close the gaps in pay and employment opportunities, the Guardian reports:

The report … found that economic disparity between women and men around the world was rising even though the gap was closing on other measures, such as education. When measured in terms of income and employment, the gender gap has widened in the past four years; at 59%, it is now at a similar level to that seen in the depths of the financial crisis in 2008. Last year, the WEF predicted it would take 118 years for economic parity to be achieved. …

The authors, Richard Samans and Saadia Zahidi, said they hoped the report “will serve as a call to action for governments to accelerate gender equality through bolder policymaking, to business to prioritise gender equality as a critical talent and moral imperative, and to all of us to become deeply conscious of the choices we make every day that impact gender equality globally”.

More comprehensive than most investigations of the gender pay gap, the annual WEF report, now in its 11th edition, measures gender inequality in terms of health, education, economy and politics. Ivana Kottasova at CNN Money zooms in on what it has to say about the US, where the WEF finds the economic gender gap is also growing, and estimates that closing it would net an additional $1.2 trillion in economic growth per year:

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Is Talent Born or Made?

Is Talent Born or Made?

At the New Yorker last week, Maria Konnikova considered the question in light of the latest research into the origins of exceptional human performance and found that the answer may not be that simple:

In a 2014 meta-analysis that looked specifically at the relationship between deliberate practice and performance in music, games like chess, sports, education, and other professions, [psychologist Zach] Hambrick and his team found a relationship that was even more complex than they had expected. For some things, like games, practice explained about a quarter of variance in expertise. For music and sports, the explanatory power accounted for about a fifth. But for education and professions like computer science, military-aircraft piloting, and sales, the effect ranged from small to tiny. For all of these professions, you obviously need to practice, but natural abilities matter more.

What’s more, the explanatory power of practice fell even further when Hambrick took exact level of expertise into account. In sports—one of the areas in which deliberate practice seems to make the most difference—it turned out that the more advanced the athlete, the less of a role practice plays. Training an average athlete for a set number of hours yields far more results than training an élite athlete, which, in turn, yields greater results than training a super-élite athlete. Put differently, someone like me is going to improve a great deal with even a few hundred hours of training. But within an Olympic team tiny differences in performance are unlikely to be the result of training: these athletes train together, with the same coach, day in and day out. Those milliseconds come from somewhere else.

She also spoke with David Lubinski, a professor of psychology at Vanderbilt University who has been studying top math students:

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Fewer Americans Think Men and Women Have Equal Job Opportunities

Fewer Americans Think Men and Women Have Equal Job Opportunities

New survey data from Gallup shows a meaningful decline in the perception of gender equality since 2008, while the gap between men’s and women’s views remains wide:

Approximately half of U.S. adults believe women have equal job opportunities as men, although women themselves (43%) are significantly less likely than men (61%) to agree. The 52% of U.S. adults saying men and women have equal job opportunities is down slightly from 57% in 2008, mostly related to a decline in the percentage of men who hold this view. When Gallup first asked this question in 1987, 48% of U.S. adults believed women and men had equal job opportunities. The public grew more skeptical about gender equality in job opportunities, and by 1995, only 34% said they believed women and men had equal opportunities. That figure has increased steadily to a high of 57% in 2007 and 2008. …

A separate question from the poll shows six in 10 U.S. adults favor affirmative action programs for women, on par with the 59% who supported these programs in 2005, when Gallup last asked this question. Women (64%) are more likely than men (55%) to favor these programs, but the percentages of men and women favoring these programs are essentially unchanged from 2005. Members of underrepresented minority groups are more likely than whites to report favoring affirmative action for women. Eighty-one percent of blacks and 69% of Hispanics say they support these programs, compared with 55% of whites. The percentages of these minority groups reporting they favor these programs for women remain similar to those found in 2005.

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