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Korn Ferry Survey: Making a Difference, Finding the Right Organizational Culture Top List of Professionals’ New Year’s Work Resolutions

-- Boredom and Needing a New Challenge One of the Top Reasons to Job Hunt --

A new Korn Ferry (NYSE: KFY) survey reveals one resolution that tops the New Year’s wish list for professionals – and it’s more desired than a promotion, more pay and better work-life balance combined.

Nearly half of the respondents (41 percent) say creating an impact/making a difference is their leading work resolution for 2020. This resolution far exceeds a raise (8 percent), promotion (5 percent), a better work-life balance (8 percent) and even getting a new job (31 percent).

But achieving that resolution may be difficult. Creating an impact/making a difference ties with getting a promotion (24 percent) as the hardest New Year’s resolutions to attain.

The top reason professionals would look for a new job in 2020, according to the survey, is that their employers’ culture doesn’t fit with their values (38 percent), followed by being bored and needing a new challenge (23 percent).

When asked which New Year’s work resolution would most improve their opportunity to advance at their current employer, the largest percentage (28 percent) say getting assigned to more challenging, high-profile projects, followed by gaining more professional development opportunities (22 percent).

"A lot is being written about change-weary professionals constantly navigating through bewildering complexity. This survey clearly shows that many professionals are not only up for a challenge, but value it as a way to demonstrate they are making a difference in the world," said Dennis Baltzley, Korn Ferry Global Solution Leader, Leadership Development. "In fact, above pay and promotion, you see professionals exhibiting a growth mindset, seeking to learn and grow."

The good news: 93 percent of professionals say they would be able to keep a New Year’s work resolution if they made one.

About the survey

The Korn Ferry survey of professionals took place in December 2019 and garnered 645 responses. (note: due to rounding, responses may not equal 100 percent).

Survey Responses:

What would you put on the top of your New Year’s work resolution wish list?

Get a raise


8 percent

Get a promotion


5 percent

Get a new job


31 percent

Better work-life balance


8 percent

Create a greater impact/make a difference


41 percent

Learn more


7 percent




What would be the hardest New Year’s resolution to achieve?

Get a raise


19 percent

Get a promotion


24 percent

Better work-life balance


20 percent

Get along better with my boss/co-workers


7 percent

Create a greater impact/make a difference


24 percent

Learn more


6 percent




If you plan to look for a new job in 2020, what is the top reason?

I’m bored, need a new challenge


23 percent

Culture doesn’t fit with my values


38 percent

I have either lost my job or expect to lose my job


13 percent

Higher salary


17 percent

Bigger title


5 percent

My boss


4 percent




Which New Year’s work resolution would most improve your opportunity to advance at your current employer?

More professional development opportunities


22 percent

Get a work mentor


7 percent

Get a career coach


7 percent

Secure an opportunity in another area of my company


15 percent

Get assigned to more challenging, high-profile projects


28 percent

Get a different boss


19 percent

Take an oversees assignment


1 percent




Are you planning on asking for a raise in 2020?



57 percent



43 percent




If you are not planning on asking for a raise in 2020, what is the top reason?

I’m afraid I’ll get turned down/awkward


11 percent

I don’t know how


7 percent

I don’t think I deserve it


5 percent

I just got one


27 percent

My company rarely gives raises


45 percent

More money will require more work from me


5 percent




If you made a work-related New Year’s resolution, would you be able to keep it?



93 percent



7 percent

About Korn Ferry

Korn Ferry is a global organizational consulting firm. We work with clients to design their organizational structures, roles and responsibilities. We help them hire the right people and advise them on how to reward, develop and motivate their workforce. And, we help professionals navigate and advance their careers.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20191227005015/en/


Tracy Kurschner