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Changing Roles Keeps Employees From Changing Employers

Changing Roles Keeps Employees From Changing Employers
Credit: Andrey Popov/Shutterstock

Keeping employees in the same position for too long is one way to have them head for the door, new research finds.

A study from the online career site Glassdoor revealed that the average worker spends 15 months in the same position. Every additional 10 months spent in the same role increases the chances of an employee leaving their employer for a new job by 1 percent, which researchers say is a statistically significant finding.

In addition to new positions, higher salaries also contribute to employees staying put. The research shows that when changing jobs, employees earn a 5.2 percent pay increase on average when they make a job transition. The study's statistical analysis found that a 10 percent increase in base pay ups the odds an employee will stay with their employer by 1.5 percent.

Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist of Glassdoor, said while it is important to provide upward career paths for workers, a simple job title promotion may not be enough.

"Maintaining competitive base pay is an important part of reducing turnover," Chamberlain said in a statement. "For recruiters, understanding competitive market value for potential candidates could be the difference between making the hire and losing the talent to an internal move within their current company."

The report finds that high employee satisfaction and the quality of an employer's culture and values also lead to better retention. The study's authors found that increases in employee ratings on happiness, culture and values boosts the likelihood of workers staying with an employer. [See Related Story: Want to Build a Great Team? Focus On Retention, Too]

Specifically, a one point increase (on a scale from 1 to 5) in the overall company rating on Glassdoor increased the chances of an employee staying with their employer by 4 percent when they transition to their next job.

In addition, a one point increase in career opportunities and culture and values ratings on Glassdoor raised the odds of workers staying with their companies when moving into their next role by 5 percent.

Despite the attention paid to work-life balance and senior leadership, the study found that neither had a statistically significant effect on employee turnover. Additionally, compensation and benefits ratings on Glassdoor had no impact.

Knowing the best ways to hold on to top employees can have a big impact on a company's bottom line. Chamberlain said employee turnover can be costly for employers, with research showing that on average, turnover costs employers 21 percent of an employee's annual salary.

"Although you can't control everything when it comes to turnover, Glassdoor data confirms there are many ways you can control whether employees stay or go," Chamberlain said. "Employers that work to improve company culture, offer competitive base pay and regularly promote and advance employees into new roles will retain them longer."

Chamberlain also believes the research can help recruiters and employers better understand what they should be focusing on to bring in quality candidates.

"For example, focusing on passive or active candidates that have been in their roles for quite awhile or are at companies without a strong company culture could help bolster recruiting efforts," he said.

For the study, researchers looked at more than 5,000 job transitions from resumes submitted to the site and combined that data with company reviews and salaries shared by employees to understand the statistical impact of various factors on employee turnover.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer and editor with nearly 20 years in media. A 1998 journalism graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff full time as a senior writer. Before Business News Daily, Chad spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Chad has also worked on the other side of the media industry, promoting small businesses throughout the United States for two years in a public relations role. His first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.