Many believe that hybrid working environments are a welcome legacy from the pandemic, and unarguably, they are here to stay.

In a hybrid working environment, it’s more challenging to keep your workforce engaged and motivated.

Not only does this affect everyday productivity, but it also has bigger implications for workforce retention.

Without regular contact and visibility of on-site work, employers will have to work harder to retain their workforce. One way to achieve this is to become introspective. Employers must revisit their strategies on how employees are motivated, encouraged, and enabled to achieve their career goals internally.

Career Success – The deciding factor.

Employees move on for many reasons. How they define ‘career success’ is one such reason.  Business leaders must understand their employee’s varying perspectives on career success in order to encourage employee engagement.

Career motives.

Individuals within an organisation have unique career motives.  Each have their own motivating factors and goals that, when achieved, create feelings of satisfaction and success.

At the other end of the spectrum, they also have those factors that kill off engagement altogether.  Throughout a career or time at a company, these motives are dynamic and will change.

Tasks and roles that motivated 6 months ago won’t necessarily be what motivates an individual now or in a years time.  External situations, such as the economy, have also transformed over time which has influenced the type of work available and what types of work are viewed as engaging.

Career Perspectives.

People’s perspectives on their careers also change over time and vary in 2 ways.

Firstly, some consider how long they would like to stay in the same professional field. For others, they prioritise the direction of their career; should they develop a specialism, move upward or laterally across the ladder, for example.

Leaders can support employee’s careers and positively influence organisational culture by understanding these perspectives, and how these perspectives create four distinct ways people progress in their career.

Four career concepts.

There are 4 distinct career concepts that link individuals with organisations.


Those who are “Expert Career” driven will have as long as possible commitment to a profession.  In their eyes, success would mean to be recognised as one of the best in their field of work.  They are driven to fine tune their skills, have job security, and awards or professional publications.  Typical “expert careers” include doctor, lawyers, professors, information technology specialists or researchers.


An employee with “linear career” focus will intent on achieving rapid movement up the corporate ladder.  They define success in terms of the level or job title they have achieved.  They thrive on having responsibility, impact, power, and professional influence. These professionals might hold titles such as senior vice president, vice president, director, senior manager or manager.


Spiral careers are less traditional.  These people are interested in periodic lateral careers changes within their field every 5 to 10 years.  This group define success to be relatively frequent opportunities that enable them to widen their skills and gain new experiences.

‘Spiral Career’ employees are motivated by movements within a department or organisation that facilitate broad generalist knowledge. Typically, this is achieved by going through a series of related specialist roles. For example, within human resources, employees may go through positions within recruiting, payroll and learning and development to gain a broad 360 career.


Transitory careers are the least conventional.  Employees who value transitory careers are the most adaptable to change.  These professionals believe the more different and frequent changes they have in their career, the better.

Transitory careers may include entrepreneurs who have started many types of business working in various fields.  They are more difficult to find in commercial environments, but add incredible value when you mobilise them.  They are happy to switch between departments and can easily move from one to another.

These people are useful.  As they move from one department to another they gain a very broad and useful perspective of the organisation; able to see how one area of work impacts another area of the business.

Identifying which one of these categories your team may fall into will help keep them motivated and engaged in the work.  You will be able to satisfy their feeling of “success” and empower them and their career within your walls.

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