Displeased boss berating indifferent employee. Bosses are struggling to keep employee retention at their companies

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So many workers are either leaving jobs or looking for new ones.

Loyalty is a dying art. At least when it comes to employee retention.

More than 80 percent of workers are either actively looking for a new job or are open to one, says a joint study from recruiting firms Accounting Principals and Ajilon.

“Employees are more receptive to considering inbound job opportunities and the cultural norm for an acceptable length of time to stay at a company has shifted,” says Accounting Principals and Ajilon president David Alexander. “This means employers need to continually evaluate whether they’re fostering an environment that retains top performers.”

Reasons workers are leaving their current jobs

There might be a multitude of reasons: maybe workers aren’t happy with their jobs or they’re looking for more fulfilling work. Or they might just be hitting the expiration date at their current job.

Nearly 60 percent of respondents believe one to two years is enough time to stay at a place before looking for a job. Of course, there are those that never stop — 15 percent believe you should always be exploring other opportunities.

The top reason someone would want to leave? More money. Forty-three percent would leave their current position for a better salary. The age group most likely to leave are 18-to-25-year-olds (46 percent). Here are some other interesting conclusions from the study…

  • Workers who feel uncomfortable negotiating higher pay with hiring boss at a new job: 64 percent
  • Females are more likely to leave for having a bad manager compared to males: (34 percent versus 25 percent).
  • Men are more likely to leave for being underpaid compared to women: (39 percent versus 33 percent).

…More than 43 percent will leave for more money. Meanwhile, 13.5 percent admit that company culture will push them to accept another job offer.

Show them the money

Another survey finds similar results. Staffing firm Robert Half concludes that 44 percent of workers would leave their job for one with better pay. Twelve percent say they would quit because they don’t feel appreciated. Meanwhile, 12 percent say they’re bored at work or they don’t feel challenged.

“Employees want to be compensated fairly and feel challenged and fulfilled in their jobs,” says Brandi Britton, a district president for OfficeTeam. “If higher pay is the primary reason for considering another position, professionals should first see if there is an opportunity to discuss a wage increase in their current role. Employers may be open to negotiation if it means keeping a good worker.”

While you might be excited about starting a new role somewhere else, keep in mind how you leave is important, too. Human Resource managers say how someone quits their job can impact their future: 83 percent believe it affects workers in some way.

“When an employee decides to leave a company, exiting on good terms is a must,” Britton says. “You never know when you might encounter a former colleague later in your career.”

Before you leave, make sure your company is set up as much as possible. If you have the time to train your replacement or finish up current projects, you should. Be honest in your exit interview, if you have one. Help make the company better even if you aren’t going to stay with them.

Salary might be everything — but it’s short-lived

Money isn’t the only reason workers leave their jobs. Counteroffers from current jobs can keep employees — at least temporarily, a separate poll from Robert Half says.

Fifty-eight percent of managers extend counteroffers to workers who say they’re leaving. Those workers, on average, leave in less than two years later.

“Counteroffers are typically a knee-jerk reaction to broader staffing issues,” says Robert Half executive Paul McDonald. “While they may seem like a quick fix for employers, the solution is often temporary. When employees accept a counteroffer, they will likely quit soon afterward.”

And for workers looking to leave, staying for money might entice you in the short-term, but won’t keep you forever. McDonald suggests avoiding counteroffers.

“Money doesn’t solve everything,” he says. “If you accept a counteroffer, your employer may question your loyalty to the company. And, more importantly, the root causes of why you were looking to leave in the first place may still exist.”

If you think your current issues can be solved at your current job, inquire about ways to fix them before pursuing other opportunities. If you want to move up, exhaust all your options about promotions and upward mobility. Talk to your manager or someone else at the company about how to best utilize your skills and talent before taking them elsewhere. Keep in mind that if you accept a counteroffer, your boss may use this to buy time to find a replacement.

Money is one thing, but so is loyalty

A higher salary and can lure in employees, but it’s not the only reason that workers will stay with a company. A survey from employee development program Bridge found that 90 percent of millennials want to grow their careers with their current companies.

As much as young people are looking to leave, they also want to foster their own growth. They’re turning to their current staffers for guidance.

“Millennial employees are looking for something different in their jobs, beyond good compensation,” says Bridge VP Emily Foote. “They aren’t satisfied with routine promotions or pay bumps; they want opportunities to learn, develop new skill sets, and grow into leaders. Organizations that create learning environments are rewarded with employee engagement and loyalty.”

Eighty-six percent of millennials would stay at their current job if offered training and development opportunities. Young people want frequent check-ins and performance feedback. They want to know what team goals are and to understand data to help achieve those goals. They also want to learn more on the job.

“Creating a workplace that promotes career development is important for everyone, including millennials who rank training and development higher than cash bonuses as a priority in the workplace,” the survey says. “By making career training and e-learning a priority, employers can ensure that the youngest generation of employees are engaged, focused and continually honing their skills.”

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Meet the Author

Dori Zinn

Dori Zinn


Zinn is a freelance journalist based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.



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