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1 in 5 Workers Plan to Change Jobs This Year. What Can You Do?

By Kelly Allder, VP of People Programs, Ceridian

No HR leader wants to believe that there will come a time when some of their top employees up and leave. Unfortunately, 2017 may be the year that happens.

CareerBuilder recently conducted a survey that showed at least one in five workers plans to change jobs this year, marking a slight increase from last year. This trend is most significant among the younger workforce, with 35 percent of millennials indicating an employment switch is in the cards for them this year. Furthermore, according to the source, 35 percent of employees look for new job opportunities on a regular basis.

Obviously, this can be problem for employers – as regrettable turnover (losing people you don’t want to lose) hurts the overall performance and productivity of a company.

So how do you stop top employees from leaving?
Ideally, the goal is to prevent employees from wanting to leave all together. Of course, this isn’t always realistic. Therefore, it’s important to try to stop disengagement in its tracks as soon as possible.  For example, if you notice obvious signs of dissatisfaction or disengagement with an employee – whether that be a change in attitude, a sudden drop in productivity or something else – schedule a one-to-one meeting with him or her and try to get to the source of the issue.

Sometimes there will be no indication or warning of a discontent worker until they put in their two weeks’ notice. At that point, there may be little you can do other than try to gain a sound understanding of their reasoning for leaving – and use this information to prevent it from happening with other employees.

Cultures that make workers want to stay
Rather than focusing on any and all reasons workers may give for leaving, it might be more beneficial to hone in on strategies for creating a corporate culture that will make them want to stay.

One way to do this is to consider some of the goals and resolutions workers say they have for this year. According to the CareerBuilder survey, in 2017:

  • Nearly 40 percent want less stress.
  • 28 percent plan to eat healthier.
  • 30 percent have their eyes on a promotion or raise.
  • More than a quarter want to learn something new.

These findings alone suggest a handful of opportunities for employers to make their people happier and adjust benefits and perks to meet such expectations. Some suggestions include:

  • Offering training programs for personal development
  • Implementing a wellness program.
  • Providing flexible work arrangements and the option to work from home.
  • Making rewards and recognition a regular occurrence.

When employees were asked about which perks, specifically, employers could offer them that would most make them want to stay with their organization, the top answers respondents gave included half-day/casual Fridays, an on-site fitness center and catered lunches.

Keeping the talent
In addition to updating compensation packages, benefits and perks, it is important for HR leaders to understand that, ultimately, the difference between an employee staying and leaving often comes down to the culture. Workers tend to favor companies where honesty and open communication is encouraged and their opinions are valued. Even minor changes can have a significant influence on retention rates. For example, if a salary increase or monetary rewards aren’t possible, simply extending verbal praise and recognition – so long as it’s specific – can be enough to keep employees engaged.

At the end of the day, the easiest way to prevent turnover and ensure employees are satisfied in their roles – as well as what you could be doing to improve their experience with your organization – is to communicate with them on a regular basis.  When employees understand what your organization stands for, what the priorities are, and how they fit into the big picture, they are much less likely to want to leave.

Happy New Year!

Kelly Allder

Kelly Allder is an experienced human resources consultant and dynamic facilitator.  As Vice President of People Programs, Kelly is responsible for HR technology and HR programs that help enhance the efficiency, effectiveness and collaboration of employees and managers.

Kelly is also Executive Director of Ceridian Cares, Ceridian’s very own charity, where she oversees the daily operations and national committees that give grants to people in need.

Kelly holds an MBA from Schulich School of Business at York University, and she drives a MINI Cooper.  Kelly has four children, all of whom can fit into her car, plus 1 hockey bag. Follow Kelly on Twitter @kallder04!

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