Employers Should Ask, ‘Why are Employees Jumping Ship?’



Joseph Bastian

Experts agree that this year may be the beginning of a growing trend in employees jumping ship for better opportunities. A recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive pointed out that by the end of 2014, nearly 20 percent of the U.S. workforce will have changed employers.

There are many reasons for this phenomenon, but in general, it signifies an improving labor market, says Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder, which operates an office in Royal Oak.

“During the recession and in its aftermath, fewer people voluntarily left jobs because the chances of finding a new or better one were low compared to (the current) healthier economic cycle," says Haefner.

That means employees are either feeling more confident about their prospects outside of their company or they have become so dissatisfied with their current employer that they’re willing to take the risk and seek their fortunes elsewhere. Either way, this trend should be a heads-up for businesses everywhere.

Leaders should be asking, “What is it that makes people stay?” According to the survey, 54 percent of respondents cited having good relationships with co-workers as one of the top reasons behind their decision to stay with their current job. Other factors include having a good work/life balance (50 percent); good benefits (49 percent); good salary (43 percent); an uncertain job market (35 percent); a quick commute (35 percent); a good boss who watches out for them (32 percent); and feeling as though they are valued and that their accomplishments are recognized (29 percent).

It would be wise for the leaders in talent management to tune into these trends and ensure that their current and future employee initiatives align with these survey results. It’s time to change the “Just Be Happy You Have a Job” culture into a “We’re Glad to Have You Onboard” work environment.

Anything less may lead to an empty boat that’s been set adrift.

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