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Why Workers are leaving

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  • Why workers are leaving and what you can do about it Lance J. RICHARDS
  • /02 Every time someone says candidate experience, I grow another grey hair. Heres why.
  • Foreword When a candidate applies for a job, they expect certain things from the role and the employer. However, those expectations arent always met once they sign on as an employee, with regard to anything from responsibilities and remuneration to career advancement and workplace culture. That disconnect that failure to provide continuity in experience has a direct impact on employee satisfaction, engagement and retention. It can also be a problem if a role exceeds a candidates expectations. We know that employee happiness and satisfaction pave the way for engagement, which in turn drives innovation and productivity. But we also know that satisfaction doesnt necessarily guarantee engagement. In fact, a very highly satisfied employee who is not engaged can be a liability. To ensure people arent disappointed or spoilt in their new roles, employers need to work to align candidate expectations with the reality of the role. Its just as important for employers to gauge whether existing employees are fulfilled in their work, and that their goals and aspirations for professional development and career progression are being met. /03 A very highly satisfied employee who is not engaged can be a liability.
  • Foreword The research in this paper suggests an employees workplace experience correlates with how engaged and satisfied they are and how likely theyll be to leave. In this paper, I endeavour to explain (with the help of a few statistics) what we see as the factors either contributing to engagement and retention or driving employees away. Please, have a read. And remember, candidate experience is vitally important. But so too is the experience that individuals have once theyre employed whether its their second week in the role or second decade in the business. /04
  • /05 52 percent of employees worldwide are happy in their roles But 47 percent changed jobs in the last year And 63 percent expect to switch jobs in the next year
  • Introduction The 2013 Kelly Global Workforce Index compiles information and insights on workplace cultures around the world. Using data sourced from more than 120,000 respondents in 31 countries, its purpose is to present readers with a clear profile of key issues currently affecting global workplaces. The third instalment focuses on employee engagement and retention. It investigates the employee-employer relationship, gauging issues such as loyalty, happiness and commitment, and it reveals a global restlessness among employees. Although 52 percent of workers are happy in their roles, just under half have changed jobs in the last year and most regularly consider quitting. Few are willing to recommend their employer to friends and colleagues. Commitment and loyalty levels are low worldwide. More than half of those who are happy in their roles still regularly look for new jobs, and almost two-thirds intend to switch employers in the next year. What are they seeking? In the wake of the global financial crisis, employees appear to be looking for reputable employers with sound financial track records and strong corporate cultures. /06
  • Introduction Employees also want career advancement; an engaging, supportive work environment; and a better balance between their professional and personal interests. In fact, most value these intangible factors more than competitive remuneration and attractive benefits. Yet our research also shows employees dont always find what theyre looking for by changing jobs. Only a minority of individuals who have recently changed roles say they are happy in their new situations. This paper examines rates of job-change and employee sentiment, and outlines practical ways for managers and business owners to keep employees focused, engaged and committed. By understanding what employees want, what they hope for in an ideal employer, and finding ways to meet these expectations, we believe employers can help stem the loss of talent. On the flipside, employees themselves may find more happiness by improving communications with their current employers rather than continually trying new ones. /07
  • why workers are leavingand what you can do about it Many employees are changing jobs Around the world, theres a high rate of employment volatility employees are leaving jobs en masse. The 2013 Kelly Global Workforce Index shows 47 percent of employees around the world changed jobs in the last year. Although there are variations, the rate of job-change is more or less consistent across all regions. Figure1: Employment volatility by region /08
  • why workers are leavingand what you can do about it /09 Figure 1: Employment volatility by region ent Volatility by region Option B Employment Have you Volatility by region Option B within the past year? (% Yes by Region) changed employers as Americas Yes Yes 45% 45% 34% 34% 21% 21% No, but I have considered No, but Iemployers have considered changing changing employers No, I am not interested in changing not interested in No, I am employers changing employers EMEA 51% 34% 51% 34% 15% 15% APAC 42% 42% 40% 40% Global 47% 47% 18% 36% 36% 18% 17% 17%
  • why workers are leavingand what you can do about it EMEA shows the highest rate of job change Looking at the rate of change by country reveals intriguing nuances in each region (see Figure 2). Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) is the most volatile region for employment in the world just over half of employees in EMEA changed jobs in the last year. This rate of flux is led by France, which has the second-highest incidence of job-change of all countries surveyed in the index 61 percent of the French workers we spoke to started new jobs in 2012. When it comes to employment volatility, the region is over-represented in the global top 10 over half of respondents in France, Denmark, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK started work with a new employer in the last year. The region also has outliers. Employment numbers in South Africa a country struck hard by the global downturn have steadily improved since 2011.1 The 2013 Kelly Global Workforce Index shows its employment is quite stable, with only 21 percent of employees changing roles in the last year. Figure 2: Employment volatility by country 1 Ekkehard Ernst, Steven Kapsos et al., Global Employment Trends 2013, International Labour Organization, p.48, /10
  • why workers are leavingand what you can do about it /11 Figure 2: Employment volatility by country Employment Volatility by country Have you changed employers within the past year? (% Yes by Country) 70 62 61 58 56 55 55 55 53 53 50 50 49 49 46 46 45 44 43 43 42 42 41 39 36 35 34 34 33 31 30 21 EMEA APAC Americas 60 50 40 30 20 South Africa Puerto Rico Indonesia India Germany China Thailand Malaysia Singapore Norway Sweden US Russia Ireland Italy Hong Kong Hungary Mexico Poland Canada UK Switzerland Netherlands Belgium Luxembourg New Zealand Brazil Denmark Portugal France 0 Australia 10
  • why workers are leavingand what you can do about it The Americas show considerable stability In the Americas, 45 percent of employees changed employers in the last year, while just over one third considered changing. Around one fifth of employees indicated they had no interest in changing a much higher incidence than other regions. Certain countries in the region have experienced more volatility than others. Brazil is among the five most volatile 55 percent of respondents changed employers in the last year, possibly related to historically low rates of unemployment providing a wealth of job opportunities.2 The research shows employment in the US is relatively stable, by world standards, with 42 percent reporting a change of employer in the previous year. 2 Trading Economics, Brazil Unemployment Rate,, accessed September /12
  • why workers are leavingand what you can do about it Job-change in APAC split between ANZ and the rest APAC has the lowest rate of employment volatility in the world only 42 percent of the regions employees changed roles in the last year, although they were also the most likely to be considering a change. Despite this, the region contains the country with the worlds highest rate of employment volatility Australia demonstrated a 62 percent incidence of job change. New Zealand, Australias neighbour, is not far behind, with a change rate of 55 percent. Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) stand in stark contrast to the rest of the APAC region. With the exception of Hong Kong, which recorded a job-change rate of 45 percent, most of the regions countries are relatively stable. Considered globally or regionally, the 2013 Kelly Global Workforce Index shows a high level of volatility in the global employment market. So, wh

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