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Analyzing the Effects of Promotions on Business and Evaluating Employee Motivation and Commitment


Sep 6, 2023

The ADP Research Institute (ADPRI) has launched Today at Work, a data-driven resource that provides business leaders and decision-makers with insights regarding the impact of promotions on businesses and a new way to measure worker motivation and commitment. The September edition of Today at Work, titled “The Hidden Truth About Promotions,” highlights the importance of having a retention plan and a strategy to support career milestones, as promotions can have a significant impact on businesses.

Furthermore, the report introduces the Employee Motivation and Commitment Index (EMC Index), which offers real-time measurement of worker allegiance. By blending ADP’s extensive data set representing over 25 million U.S. workers with surveys spanning close to a decade and covering more than 490,000 workers in 29 countries, Today at Work provides a comprehensive view of the employee lifecycle and the world of work.

Dr. Nela Richardson, ADP Chief Economist and Head of the ADP Research Institute, stated, “With so much data at our fingertips, we have the opportunity to tell the full story of the workforce with an eye toward its continued evolution and change.” She adds that the report illustrates the link between motivation, commitment, and productivity, shedding light on what drives productivity, which has historically been challenging to measure.

Today at Work is released quarterly and utilizes ADP’s anonymized and aggregated data, regular surveys, and ongoing ADPRI research to offer in-depth analysis and actionable metrics to aid decision-making in areas where data has been lacking.

The September edition of Today at Work focuses on the impact of promotions and reveals that committed and motivated workers are more likely to receive promotions. Retaining these recently promoted employees is crucial for supporting business growth. ADPRI analyzed the job histories of over 1.2 million U.S. workers from 2019 to 2022 and found an unintended consequence associated with promotions under certain circumstances. Within a month of receiving their first promotion, 29% of people left their employer compared to only 18% who would have left if not promoted. However, by the six-month mark, the risk of leaving the company equalized for both newly promoted workers and those who had not been promoted.

Various factors can influence the impact of promotions, such as job requirements. Workers in jobs with fewer entry requirements are more likely to quit after being newly promoted. Roles that demand extensive preparation, such as graduate school or advanced technical degrees, increase the risk of managers leaving more than non-managerial workers.

To prepare for talent growth and promote employee retention, employers should provide career development opportunities to help workers transition into their new roles, be prepared for potential resignations by having a plan to mitigate critical talent loss, and incentivize retention among groups with a higher likelihood of leaving, such as low-wage workers.

The second part of Today at Work introduces the EMC Index, a tool developed by ADPRI to measure worker allegiance. Built on surveys conducted over nearly a decade with over 490,000 workers in 29 countries, the EMC Index measures how employees feel about their place at work and their level of thriving. The index fell from 108 to 100 in August 2023, its lowest since June 2022. High-productivity workers respond more positively to questions about work and motivation, while different industries and demographics have varying levels of motivation and commitment.

ADPRI’s ongoing research aims to provide decision-makers with actionable insights. Dr. Nela Richardson concludes, “For the first time, we’re combining ADP’s unparalleled hard data with people-centric surveys to identify actionable insights for decision-makers.”

By Editor

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