- Up to two-thirds of employees responding to a survey said they may leave their jobs in 2020, according to Achievers' third annual Employee Engagement & Retention report, released Jan. 29. The percentage of employees who definitely plan to stay in their current job (33%) dropped 14 points from those who said they would leave in 2019; and those who are undecided increased to 32%.
- The data indicated that a sense of detachment was common. About 35% said they were somewhat engaged but felt their employer could do more to improve the employee experience; 19% considered themselves "very engaged" and plan to stay a long time and 14% were fully disengaged. The least engaged were employees age 18-29, as 50% indicated they will pursue a new job. The report suggested that the increase in disengagement stems from employees' perception of a lack of commitment from senior leadership to improve company culture.
- Top reasons for turnover included dissatisfaction with compensation, career advancement and recognition. "Our data shows a substantial portion of today's workforce already has one foot out the door," Achievers' chief workforce scientist, Natalie Baumgartner, said in a statement. "This is a huge shift from what we found last year: that despite disengagement, 65% of employees were planning on staying at their jobs. Employers must take immediate action to reverse these feelings of underappreciation and disengagement. If they don't, the risk of turnover and underperformance in 2020 is immense."
Employers' prioritizing employee engagement and appreciation, and creating a culture of belonging, are pivotal to retaining employees, say experts.
The proverb "a simple thank-you can go a long way" also applies to business. Approximately 85% of employees surveyed by Deloitte said they'd like to be recognized for daily accomplishments with a verbal or written thank-you, according to June 2019 report. In regard to significant achievements, employees also said growth opportunities are preferable to cash.
Companies that create cultures, structures, programs and policies that help people find meaning in their work will most likely thrive in the future, the Deloitte report noted. "When you recognize someone for their unique contributions to your team or organization — especially when you do so in ways they prefer — it validates them, demonstrates that they belong, and helps them connect with that sense of meaning," it said. "At the same time, you can positively impact your work environment, while making the world a better place."
Employees also need to feel a part of the bigger plan, which means effective communication is essential. Peakon, an employee engagement platform, said in a September 2019 study that after pay, communication is the top thing employees would change about their jobs. When employees feel that there is a two-way dialogue with their organization, "it paves the way for transparency, innovation and profitability," according to Peakon.
Moreover, Forrester predicted that in 2020, an emphasis on corporate values and increased employee expectations for executing those values will force companies to take their employee experience commitments seriously. The risk of not getting it right? Public shaming and less ability to attract and retain top talent, Forrester said in the report.