'Flexible work keeping dissatisfied staff in jobs'

'Flexible work keeping dissatisfied staff in jobs'

Despite their current job dissatisfaction, more than two-thirds of all respondents said they do not plan to leave their current employers, with nearly the same number citing flexible work arrangements as the reason for staying put, according to an Accenture survey. 

The survey, released as part of Accenture's 2012 celebration of International Women’s Day, found that most respondents said they are taking a variety of steps to actively manage their careers - including accepting a different role or responsibility, receiving more education or training, and working longer hours.

More than half of both the women and men surveyed (57 percent and 59 percent, respectively) are dissatisfied with their jobs. However, despite their current job dissatisfaction, more than two-thirds (69 percent) of all respondents said they do not plan to leave their current employers, with nearly the same number (64 percent) citing flexible work arrangements as the reason for staying put. When asked about the greatest barrier to their career advancement, respondents cited a lack of opportunity or a clear career path twice as often as they cited family responsibilities (42 percent vs. 20 percent), while almost one-third (32 percent) cited no barriers to their advancement.

Most respondents said they are taking a variety of steps to actively manage their careers, including:

- Accepting a different role or responsibility (cited by 58 percent of respondents).

- Receiving more education or training (46 percent).

- Working longer hours (36 percent).

The majority (59 percent) of respondents reported having some type of flexible work schedule, and 44 percent of this group said they have used flexible work options for more than three years.

When asked about factors that have slowed their careers, 44 percent of respondents cited the economic downturn, which started in 2008, and 40 percent cited parenthood.

While more than two-thirds (71 percent) of respondents reported having work/life balance most or all of the time, 42 percent said they often sacrifice time with family in order to succeed, and 41 percent said career demands have a negative impact on their family life.

The vast majority (73 percent) of respondents with a spouse or significant other said that person also holds a full-time job.

Self-confidence, soft skills and hard work were cited most often as the attributes most important to career growth (cited by 28 percent, 25 percent and 23 percent of respondents, respectively).

Approximately one-third of respondents reported they get career advice from colleagues or family (cited by 35 percent and 32 percent of respondents, respectively), and 77 percent said the gender of the person giving career advice does not matter to them. Accenture says the results show the need for companies to give people with clearly defined career paths that include innovative training, leadership development and opportunities for advancement.

It states: "Energised, engaged employees remain a competitive advantage, and employees are striving for success.  The workplace has changed, however, and employees are defining success in a variety of ways, customising their own approaches and balancing personal demands with their desire to succeed.  The challenge for employers is to help employees fully integrate the whole spectrum of work and life needs over the course of their career."

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