- As many as 37% of global “deskless” workers — those who need to be physically present to do their jobs — could leave their current roles within the next six months, according to the results of a Boston Consulting Group survey published July 7.
- The survey, which queried about 1,000 employees each in Australia, France, Germany, India, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S., also found that 41% of respondents cited lack of career advancement as a cause for leaving a job. Career advancement topped other considerations, including pay, flexibility, work-life balance and enjoyment of a role.
- Although workers identified work schedules and benefits packages as pain points, career advancement was cited as a top challenge across all regions of the survey. Managers and individual contributors in the survey said they sought training in technical skills; teamwork and collaboration; people management; communication; and health and safety.
BCG’s survey results may signify an opportunity for employers, many of whom recognize the difficulties posed by attracting and retaining qualified talent in a hypercompetitive market.
Training, moreover, is a commonly cited tactic in addressing this trend. A 2022 Willis Towers Watson survey found that 73% of employers said upskilling would be a priority over the next three years, while 68% said the same of multiskilling. Similarly, a recent report by Jobs for the Future and the Taco Bell Foundation found that learning opportunities could be key to retaining workers in frontline industries such as transportation and healthcare.
Workers, for their part, have not been shy about their desire for career development. Learning vendor Axonify’s 2020 analysis of user activity during the earliest months of the COVID-19 pandemic found that frontline workers actually increased their consumption of content, even as the pressures of working in public-facing roles mounted.
Employers have a variety of examples to look to in building development opportunities. Some, like Walmart, launched programs allowing deskless employees to train in areas adjacent to their current roles, as the retailer did when it announced a three-month program for supply chain associates to earn commercial driver’s licenses and become Walmart drivers. Others have sought external partners to offer a wider array of options to interested workers.