Only 10% of British employees define their career success by high performance and productivity, according to a new global career survey of employees by career experts Right Management.

As employers are continuing to struggle to find motivated and skilled workers to join their business in order to meet business goals, this report suggests that there is an ongoing disconnect between employee aspirations and the demands from employers.

Developing motivated individuals

The Global Leader of Right Management and Executive Vice President of ManPowerGroup, Maria Swan, commented that for organisations to retain and attract the very best individuals, they must make career development a priority in their business.

The survey also highlighted that work-life balance was what defined career success for many employees; this was a common theme around the world:

  • Europe – 55%
  • Asia Pacific – 37%
  • North America – 35%

However, interestingly 14% of the millennial age group believe being the best at their job is essential for career success; while 22% of baby boomers and 17% of Generation X agree. Surprisingly, only 3% of employees around the world aspire to achieve a position of authority.

Enjoyment and happiness

When it came to success, the report found that enjoyment and happiness at work trumped performance and salary. The results found that the following contributed to career success:

  • Happiness/enjoyment at work – 26%
  • Salary – 19%
  • Doing the very best work – 18%
  • Respect and recognition – 15%
  • High performance – 10%

If we break this down by geographical location, only 8% of employees in Europe believe happiness is essential to career success, followed by North America (12%) and Asia (14%).

The survey also looked at these results across workplace generations and found that the desire for happiness was highest among Generation X (11%), followed closely by the millennials (10%) and baby boomers (8%).

“Understanding employee career motivations and aspirations is key to creating a high performance culture that motivates individuals to do their best work,” explained Ms Swan.

If you’re looking for next motivated graduate workforce, speak to Discovery Graduates who can help with all stages of recruitment and retention.