Nearly two-thirds of employees in the ADP report Evolution of Work 2.0 are looking to change jobs, and even those who aren’t actively looking are open to an offer. But only 21 percent of employers think their employees are open to leaving. What makes employees quit, and what can you do to prevent it?
There’s Something Better Out There
Employees seeking new jobs are nothing new, of course: In 2016, a study by iCIMS Inc. reported a similar figure, 63 percent of employees, were looking for new jobs. But in May, the unemployment rate hit 4.3 percent, and ADP (NASDAQ:ADP) reports that more than 940,000 new jobs have been added since January 2017. With more jobs out there, employees are more confident they can find something better than their current position.
At the same time, they’re also more cynical and cautious. More than half (56 percent) of employees in the survey believe there is “no such thing as job security today.” Employers are more naïve: They think just 21 percent of their employees feel that way.
Transformations such as globalization and automation have workers feeling somewhat disposable. While most of the employees in the survey feel loyal to their employers, they’re also watching out for their own interests, ready to run to greener pastures if they appear. Reflecting this, while just 17 percent of employees are actively looking for new jobs, 46 percent are passively looking.
How to Keep Employees from Quitting
Here are 4 key takeaways about what employees want — and what you can do.
Eliminate The Perception Gap
The ADP survey pinpoints a perception gap between employers and employees that it calls “me vs. we.” While employers focus on the big picture, such as their business’s financial health or reputation in the industry, employees are more concerned with their own day-to-day experiences at work. In other words, employers have a “we” perspective while employees have a “me” perspective.
What you can do: If you want to keep your employees happy, you need to see work from their point of view. What is it like day to day? Think like an employee and differentiate your business from your competition based on what it’s like to work there — not based on its financial success or reputation. Remind your employees of these positives not just during the job interview, but on a regular basis.
The top reasons employees in the ADP survey stay at jobs are the environment of the workplace and the work itself. The top reason they leave: their relationships with their direct managers.
Work relationships are a key factor in employee satisfaction, the survey found. Although most employees in the survey say they feel connected to their peers, few feel that way about their direct supervisors, senior management or the company owners.
What you can do: As a small business owner, you have a unique opportunity to forge relationships with your employees. Take the time to learn about them as people and understand what they seek from their jobs. If you’re not the direct manager of all your employees, make sure that the managers under you take the same approach.
Create Opportunities to Make a Difference
A whopping 82 percent of employees in the survey want to play an important role in their companies. Workers want to feel a sense of purpose and feel their feedback and opinions at work make a difference.
What you can do: Listening to employees and regularly communicating with them will help you better understand their needs so you can provide more opportunities for them to feel they are making a real contribution.
Don’t Bait and Switch
Many employees feel their employers don’t “walk the walk” when it comes to day-to-day work. For example, work-life balance and career development opportunities are often promised during job interviews, but don’t always materialize after an employee is on board. As a result, almost half of employees say they have left a job because its reality didn’t meet their expectations.
What you can do: Don’t over promise and under-deliver. Be honest about what it’s like to work at your company. Maybe you do offer flexible work — except during your busy season … which is eight months out of the year. Emphasize the four months when employees can work at home, but be truthful about the times when they can’t.
Quitting Photo via Shutterstock