- Economic uncertainty means employees are increasingly planning to stay put, according to research from Gartner.
- More than half the employees (53%) in a Gartner survey about Q2 2019 said they planned to stay in their jobs that quarter — a 10% increase from those who said they’d stay on board in Q1. "With this quarter-over-quarter increase in intent to stay, we are now seeing a shift as employees hunker down, indicating concerns around available job opportunities and potential weakness in the labor market," said Brian Kropp, chief of research for the Gartner HR practice, in a statement.
- The uneasiness also has employees putting in more "discretionary effort," according to Gartner's findings. The group found an increase in those who said they're willing to go above and beyond expectations, which Kropp said creates an opportunity for employers to invest in training.
While many HR professionals aim for low turnover, it's important that employees are staying for the right reasons. Those who are complacent and disengaged admit to some "scary" workplace activities, according to Randstad research. An employer's bottom line can suffer when workers are unproductive, too; one study puts the total cost of worker disengagement between $450 and $500 billion a year.
But as Gartner notes, if employees are hoping to solidify their roles ahead of a downturn, employers may have an opportunity to create a workforce for the future.
First, employers’ best chance of creating a positive work environment is by developing a strong employee value proposition focused on the things workers want from their employers. Gartner, for example, suggested competitive compensation and benefits packages, development opportunities, work-life balance and a positive culture.
Workers' willingness to go the extra mile also sets the stage for upskilling, as Gartner mentioned. As employers struggle to find new talent with in-demand skills, many are choosing instead to reskill current employees. But many experts suggest a mix of buying and hiring is likely the right approach for most employers. "Retaining and developing top internal talent within the organization is critical to long-term growth and sustainability," Courtney Cook, VP of strategic development at Korn Ferry, previously told HR Dive, "while buying talent from outside of the company with specialized skills with immediate impact to transform an agenda or short term is a complementary combination and approach."
"It's critical to train existing people, but sometimes as strategy changes, you'll need different skill sets to achieve goals," she said. "That's why a mix of build/buy is essential."