Jack Keough: 2016 Could Be A Challenging Year To Retain Workers

ID contributing editor Jack Keough examines a new survey by Harris Poll which found that 30 percent of employees ages 18-34 will have a new job by the end of 2016.

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Jack Keough, Contributing EditorJack Keough, Contributing Editor

It may be tougher for business owners to keep employees in 2016, according to a new survey.

The study shows that more than one in five employees (21 percent) are pledging to leave their current employers in 2016, a 5 percent increase since last year (16 percent).

Among younger workers, the numbers stand out even more. Three in 10 employees ages 18 to 34 (30 percent) expect to have a new job by the end of 2016, compared to 23 percent last year. To keep their resolution to find a new job, 34 percent of employees are regularly searching for job opportunities, even though they’re currently employed — a four point increase since last year (30 percent).

The national survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from Nov. 4 to Dec. 1, 2015, and included a representative sample of 3,252 workers across industries.

“Just because a person is satisfied with their job doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t looking for new work,” said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder. “Because of this, it’s critical to keep up with your employees’ needs and continue to challenge them with work they feel is meaningful.”

When asked what factors rank as more important than salary when considering a position, employees said:

  • Job stability: 65 percent
  • Affordable benefits: 59 percent
  • Location: 56 percent
  • Good boss: 51 percent
  • Good work culture: 46 percent

A separate study conducted a few months ago by TINYpulse, a company that helps firms address worker sentiment, shows  employees who have lots of freedom to make decisions on how to do their jobs are pretty satisfied and far less likely to leave their jobs. But those  employees whose input is not recognized by employers are 28 percent more likely to think about getting a new job.

So what keeps employees on their jobs? Surprisingly it is not salary.

The TINYpulse survey of 400 workers shows that people often leave because of their direct supervisors,  “peer respect and recognition” as well as corporate  culture and lack of advancement opportunities.

With a tight labor market, retaining employees and challenging them are going to be key challenges for companies, especially small businesses like distributors.

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