Australian organisations need to talk about career to drive business success

New research from Right Management finds a culture of ‘Career Conversations’ can drive individual and business performance

AUSTRALIA 28 April, 2016 – A new research report released today by Right Management, the global career experts within ManpowerGroup (NYSE: MAN), has revealed the need for Australian organisations to create a culture that encourages ‘Career Conversations’ if they want to attract, engage and retain the brightest talent, while fostering innovation.


The research report titled Talk the Talk: How Ongoing Career Conversations Drive Business Success,’ found that two-thirds of individual performance drivers can be tied to effective, ongoing career conversations. If these conversations took place more regularly in the workplace, employees would be more likely to engage with their work (75%), share ideas (75%), look for career growth (72%) and longevity (71%) in their current organisation.


Right Management’s research found that while the majority (88%) of Australian employees believe they are responsible for their own career development, only one quarter (26%) feel confident to have a conversation about their career with their manager. These findings demonstrate how disconnected employers and employees have become when it comes to defining the employer’s role in a person’s career development.


Bridget Beattie, Executive Vice President of Asia Pacific Middle East for Right Management said, “The idea of a ‘job for life’ is a thing of the past. In the Human Age 2.0, individuals consistently report that they expect to move to other companies for growth and advancement opportunities to increase their employability. Therefore, the role of employers today is not to control the employee’s career journey, but to participate in, influence, and gain value from it. To be able to attract, engage and retain talent, organisations need to urgently put in place a modern, structured approach to create a career-focused culture.”


Organisations are missing an opportunity to better engage their staff and improve business performance because most managers lack the skills to facilitate career conversations and act as an effective coach. In particular, the top three things employees do not receive but would like to speak to their managers about are:

1.    My opportunities for career growth (28%)

2.    My career goals (27%)

3.    How my skills and contributions are recognised (25%)


The research also found that while Australian organisations are above the global average when it comes to career development planning and providing a map of alternative career paths, it lags behind the rest of the world when it comes to other areas of development, including access to formal mentoring programs, new work experiences and project based work assignments.


Q. To help with development, does your employer provider the following?





Australia performs well



A career development plan



A career path or map which outlines alternatives career alternatives



Australia lags behind



Project based work assignments



New work experiences



Technical skills development programs



Access to a coach



Formal mentoring programs



Formal mentoring programs with peers



Australia is comparable



A formal assessment of my strengths and development needs



Contact with senior leaders in the organisation



Networking opportunities



Right Management has reimagined a framework for ‘Career Conversations’ to provide employers with practical advice and help organisations engage employees while meeting business goals. It enables employees to feel empowered about the direction of their own career and achieve personal goals while still driving the business forward. The process has six stages:

  1. Who am I? An assessment to look at what the individual wants to achieve and where they currently fit in an organisation
  2. What is expected of me? Planning a development path, ensuring goals are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound
  3. What and how should I develop? Looking at specific areas for individual development
  4. How am I doing? Providing ongoing assessment and engagement with the employee’s manager
  5. How will my talents and contributions be recognised? Development of a motivation and reward program specifically suited to personal motivations
  6. What’s next? Looking at next steps in an individual’s career and how to work towards it.

To download the report, please click here.

For more information about Right Management, please click here.

Media contact

Lauren Knight
Buchan Consulting

[email protected]
03 9866 4722