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Huge lack of employer communication around career development is detrimental to staff engagement

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Fewer than six out of 10 employees (57%) believe their employer communicates clearly with them about their career prospects.

Although more than three quarters of staff (77%) understand how they contribute to the success of their business, only 42% know what their next step on the career ladder will be, according to research out today from talent management consultancy Taleo.

Only two out of five members of staff have access to online talent management tools, despite the fact employees' understanding of their role within a company increases to 82% if these tools are in place.

Alice Snell, vice president at Taleo Research, told HR magazine: "We asked what the levers for retention are, and in areas such as having access to internal communications, there was much room for improvement. Nearly a quarter of people in companies don't know what their company is working towards, and 42% don't knowing what their career path is.

"We think this is a substantial finding. It's proven that among those that do know where they fit in an organisation, their level of engagement and productivity is much higher, so failing to tell staff where they fit in will be a productivity issue."

Employees in the public sector have the best visibility of internal job openings (73%), 52% of employees in the financial services sector have access to software tools for career planning and 67% of IT staff receive feedback on their performance compared with an average of 40%.

But Snell added: "The problem is that companies are in sustainability mode, they are not actively communicating with their employees. Companies nowadays seem to know less about their employees than ever; they are reactive. Companies need to be having proper skills conversations with their staff, about how they add value to the business. The concept of ‘talent' needs to be pushed out to the whole organisation."