Employers interested in improving their worker retention rate should take note: Employees have very different reasons for staying at a job than they do for leaving one.
In a global study from consulting firm BlessingWhite, employees revealed they stick with a job because they like the work they do. However, they often leave to advance their career.
The work environment is the top reason employees gave for staying in a job, with 30 percent saying, “I like the work that I do.” Career opportunities were cited by only 17 percent of respondents as a reason to stay at the job.
However, when asked why they would leave a job, career opportunity was the top reason given. More than a quarter of respondents (26 percent) pointed to a lack of growth opportunities.
"Business leaders are right to be concerned about retention of top talent," said Christopher Rice, CEO of BlessingWhite, a global consulting firm. "And while raises may encourage some workers to stick around, our findings suggest that employees -- especially high performers -- will remain in jobs that challenge them, utilize their expertise, and provide meaning."
In general, employees reported their decision to stay had mostly to do with being happy with their employer. Their answers are below:
What is the most important factor influencing your plans to stay?
- My career. I have significant development or advancement opportunities here. 17 percent
- My organization's mission. I believe in what we do. 11 percent
- No desire for change. I am comfortable here. 10 percent
- My job conditions. I have flexible hours, a good commute, etc. 10 percent
- My finances. I expect a desirable salary, bonus, or stock options. 7 percent
- Other (the economy, my manager, my colleagues) 15 percent
In contrast, the top reason employees of all age groups give for jumping ship is their career.
What is the most important factor influencing your thoughts about leaving?
- My career. I don't have opportunities to grow or advance here. 26 percent
- My work. I don't like what I do or it doesn't make the most of my talents. 15 percent
- My finances. I want to earn more money. 15 percent
- My desire for change. I want to try something new. 12 percent
- My manager. I don't like working for him or her. 10 percent
- Other (the economy, job conditions, organization mission, colleagues) 18 percent
The Employee Engagement Report 2011 explores workplace attitudes among employees on four continents and is based on survey responses of nearly 11,000 employed professionals.
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