Research digested: New Decade, New Direction, The Institute of Leadership and Management

Cover of Inistitute of Leadership and Management report New Decade, New Direction


A snapshot of useful research for L&D and workplace professionals

Why read this report

This research looks at why people might be looking for a new job in the new year and the new decade. It looks at what people want from their careers, what they like about their current role and what they don’t like.

About the research

The Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) surveyed 2,141 members and non-members. They were asked a series of questions about job satisfaction levels, goals for 2020 and actions that could help career progression.

Standout stats

Training and development came up constantly as being important for job satisfaction and career progression.

  • Just under a quarter (24%) said they were ‘very satisfied’ in their current role.

What makes people satisfied at work?

  • Relationships with colleagues 77%
  • Access to training and development 68%
  • Being trusted to take on more responsibility 66%
  • Access to flexible working 63%

Only 34% of respondents said salary was one of the most important determinants of job satisfaction. It is more important to dissatisfied employees than satisfied ones.

What causes people to feel dissatisfied at work?

  • Feeling undervalued by managers 47%
  • Lack of growth and development opportunities 45%
  • Negative company culture 33%

Qualifications are important to respondents and frequently essential in many roles but training and coaching which do not result in a qualification were cited as important for career progression, 43% and 36% respectively.

Top three goals for 2020

  • Expand professional knowledge 50%
  • Get better at leading and managing 36%
  • Improve work-life balance 32%

Do women and men have different aims in terms of boosting their career success in 2020? Yes. Women are more likely to focus on building confidence, while men are more likely to work on building their personal brand.

When asked how they might progress their careers, respondents said:

  • Develop a career plan 44%
  • Training 43%
  • Coaching 36%

Also cited were building a network, goal setting and changing jobs.

Final word

One of the strongest research findings is how big a factor the social aspects of work are for determining how satisfied or dissatisfied people are with their jobs. People want to feel connected to colleagues, they want to have good managers and they want to feel connected to their organisations’ purpose and that they belong.

This report demonstrates how critically important it is that employees have access to learning and development. Organisations that offer good development and growth opportunities have more satisfied employees, whereas those that don’t tend to have more dissatisfied employees.

And, salary is not the be all and end all. It scores eighth place in terms of satisfaction, although that figure rises to third place for those respondents that are dissatisfied with their current role.