Korn Ferry Executive Survey Shows Lack of Development and Advancement Opportunities for High-Professional Talent
Not “Being Recognized as an Expert” the Top Reason High Professionals such as IT Developers or Research Scientists Leave
“With the global economy becoming fiercely reliant on
knowledge, technology and innovation, many businesses today require
highly specialized leaders,” said Korn Ferry Managing Principal
More than half of the survey respondents (55 percent) say their organizations do not have ways to encourage and reward high professionals, other than promoting them into formal management roles.
“Our survey found that companies that rely solely on promotions and
raises for high professionals are missing the point,” said
The survey found that nearly two-thirds of respondents (64 percent) say “being recognized as a subject matter expert” is what matters most to high professionals, followed by being able to build their professional skills at 25 percent. A raise (7 percent) and promotion (4 percent) barely made the list.
Nearly half (46 percent) said the organization’s lack of willingness to recognize the value of high professionals’ expertise is the number one reason high professionals would leave an organization, followed by a lack of advancement within their own functional areas, which was cited by 33 percent.
“Companies that depend on having a deep bench of expert talent to drive innovation and growth could find that pipeline depleted if they fail to provide alternative reward structures and technical career tracks for these high professionals,” said Vigue.
“The real key is providing the mechanisms that enable these experts to expand their contribution by transferring their knowledge to the next generation of experts – as informal coaches and mentors – without having to take on formal management roles,” said Marcus. “Otherwise companies run the critical risk of losing key institutional knowledge as experts retire or leave for another job.”
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About the Study
Does your organization have ways to encourage and reward high professionals, other than promoting them into formal management roles?
Is there a clear path for advancement for high professionals within your organization?
Does your organization have development programs specifically designed to help high professionals advance within their specific function such as IT or research? (As opposed to including them in broader high-potential programs)
What matters most to high professionals within your organization?
|Ability to build their professional skills||25 percent|
|Being recognized as a subject matter expert||64 percent|
Why would a high professional leave an organization?
|Lack of advancement opportunities within their own functional areas||33 percent|
Required to take on responsibilities other than their area of expertise (e.g., managing people, being on committees)
|Lack of organization’s willingness to recognize the value of their expertise||46 percent|
|Lack of opportunities to be a part of a community of high-professional colleagues||13 percent|
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Tracy Kurschner, 612-309-3957