According to a BusinessSalary.com survey of over 2,400 people, more than 50 percent of employees are looking for new jobs once the calendar turns to January. While losing weight, quitting smoking, and finding a better job are popular New Years resolutions, it’s startling to see just how many survey respondents actually are planning on taking the latter resolution into action.
It’s also alarming news for companies that are struggling to fill key positions as it is. The idea that more than half of the people working for them, some of whom play critical roles in business operations, could be seeking greener pastures just as companies are trying to pull themselves out of a hard-hit recession is troubling to say the least.
Successful businesses understand that recruiting new talent is an expensive proposition. Numerous studies report that it’s far more cost-effective to retain talented members of your staff than to seek out new recruits and go through the training process all over again.
Therefore, the first thing companies must do is figure out why people are looking for new jobs and then they must see where changes can be made in the way they do business to become more attractive employers to the people who currently work for them, while also continuing to attract new talent as well.
Why are Workers Job Hunting?
This is the first question companies need to ask and have answered. According to the survey, the number one answer, at 67 percent of those surveyed, was money. Lack of end-of-the year holiday raises and bonuses was related, whereby almost one third (29 percent) of those surveyed said that a missing holiday bonus or raise was the catalyst for seeking a new job in the new year.
The next most common reason people were seeking other job opportunities pertains to advancement opportunities, in which 60 percent of those looking for new jobs felt that opportunities for advancement would be better for them elsewhere. The third and fourth most commonly cited reasons for the job people looking for new jobs were: feeling under-appreciated (50 percent) and feeling overworked (35 percent), respectively. Twenty-seven percent said an inadequate work life balance and dealing with a a “horrible” boss is the reason for looking for a new job.
- Money (67%)
- Advancement opportunities (60%)
- Under-appreciation (50%)
- Overworked (35%)
- Lack of end-of-the-year raise or holiday bonus (29%)
- Inadequate work/life balance and horrible boss (27%)
What Will Make Workers Stay?
The next questions businesses must ask is what they can they do to make workers stay. The same survey mentions that 75 percent of the people surveyed indicated they would stay with their jobs if they were offered raises. This is excellent news for businesses because it shows that many people would be willing to stay for something as simple as salary adjustments — provided your company has the budget to do so.
The survey revealed a few other pertinent pieces of information:
- 35 percent of employees would like to see clearer goals from their employers. People like to know where they stand, what they’re expected to do, and how well they’re living up to those expectations. Perhaps it’s time to consider bringing in someone, at least temporarily, to help get your business on track—at least when it comes to setting goals.
- 33 percent are looking for a better work-life balance
- 27 percent are interested in working from home. Perhaps it’s time to consider offering telecommuting as an option—even if only for one or two days each week.
What Can Businesses Do in This Economy?
The one thing that is certain is that something must be done—especially in high competition markets that are struggling to find qualified workers. Here are a few things you might want to consider in light of this survey’s findings.
- Reassess salary options – Look for areas where you can offer more money, even if it involves attaching numerous contingencies concerning the performance of the business to continue the raise beyond the next fiscal year.
- Consider holiday bonuses – Year end recognition, even if only a small holiday bonus, can help with employee retention.
- Manage your management – Conflicts with managers can be a major support of discontent for workers. While it would be nice if everyone could always get along, there are some personality types that simply don’t work well together. Try to make sure your management team is getting a proper amount of oversight and that care is taken to team up management and employees in a manner that’s a recipe for success.
- Re-examine your goal setting techniques – Well-stated goals with clearly defined objectives work well for employees. Ultimately, the people who work for you want the company to succeed. They want to help you achieve your business goals as it helps them feel successful and satisfied with the jobs they do. However, if they can’t really figure out what they’re supposed to be doing to help ensure your success it’s more difficult for them to take pride in the work they do.
- Encourage better work/home balance – Flexible work hours or telecommuting option may be the key to retaining more employees.
Small changes in the way you do business can yield massive results when it comes to keeping your existing workers happy with their job. Show your appreciation, provide a better balance between home and work, consider telecommuting (at last part-time) as an option, pair workers with management teams that are most likely to help them succeed, and give raises whenever possible to the people who really do make your business great.