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Loving it but leaving anyway

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Tuesday October 27, 2015 Written by  Retain Canada
More than two in five employees who said they are very satisfied with their organizations and their jobs are also looking to leave.

And, according to Mercer’s latest Inside Employees’ Minds research, 37 per cent of all American workers are seriously considering leaving their organizations, regardless of their satisfaction level. That’s up from 33 per cent of the workforce who were considering leaving in 2011.

“The survey confirms what employers have been seeing first-hand — a workforce in transition and, increasingly, one on the move,” said Patrick Tomlinson, North American business leader for talent at Mercer. “The new twist is that the inclination to leave is increasingly detached from employees’ satisfaction with jobs, pay, and even growth opportunities. Employers need to shift their talent strategies to understand the modern terms of engagement from the most productive employees.”

The findings are more pronounced for various demographic groups within the workforce. For example, 63 per cent of senior managers surveyed are seriously considering leaving their current roles, compared to 39 per cent of management-level employees and 32 per cent of non-management workers.

Older workers, who typically face an array of family and financial commitments, say they are less likely to be looking. Only 29 per cent of workers ages 50 to 64 are seriously considering leaving at the present time. But it’s a different story with younger generations of workers, particularly Millennials, who bring a “here and now” philosophy to their careers, according to Tomlinson. As a group, they seem to value accelerated career paths and diversity (in the workplace and the work itself) over job security and tenure. Mercer’s new survey reflects these trends, noting that 44 per cent of workers age 18 to 34 are seriously considering leaving their organization, compared to 37 per cent for the overall U.S. workforce, despite the fact that they are generally more positive about many aspects of work.

“If employers want to remain competitive in today’s market, they need to create a strategic workforce plan — one that aligns to an evolved value proposition — based on the dynamics of this rapidly changing talent landscape. The plan must consider both engaged and disengaged workers, who account for about a fifth of the overall workforce, according to our research,” Tomlinson said. “Perhaps more than those who leave, this group has the potential to harm morale and productivity. If your employees stay, you want them engaged and productive.”

“The future of successful work relationships between employer and employee will depend on the trifecta of health, wealth and career — and how you make them all flexible to reflect the way people want to work today and what they are looking for in the employment relationship,” Tomlinson added.

The Inside Employees’ Minds survey was an online survey of 3,010 U.S. workers, at least 18 years old, who had never retired and were working full or part-time at for-profit organizations. The survey was conducted from Dec. 22, 2014 through Jan. 21. Results were weighted to U.S. Census targets for age, gender, race, education and income. Results reported here are for organizations with 200 or more employees.

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