“Should I Stay or Should I Go” is the song that keeps coming back to the minds of many employees these days.
We’ve all heard of the Great Resignation, with a recent national poll indicating that more than half of working people expect to say adios to their current bosses in the next 12 months.
The Washington Post recently called it the “great reassessment of work in America”.
With unemployment at historic lows, some employers are in panic mode.
So how can they avoid this talent drain?
Doug Claffey, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Energage LLC, our research partner for The Dallas Morning News’ Top 100 Places to Work, has an overview of what they need to do.
Claffey says there are eight main reasons people want to stay or leave. And employers need to keep a closer and closer eye on each of them during this unprecedented time of talent drain.
“You need to understand at a strategic level how you are doing in terms of career growth, team, benefits, management, remote working, compensation, work / life and culture,” said he declared.
“Managers need to have a conversation with each employee about what is important to them to be the best they can be in the organization, because everyone is different. “
This year, Energage surveyed over 74,000 D-FW workers at 337 companies to determine our top 100 winners.
Our surveys were carried out in late spring and early summer just as vaccines were reaching ordinary Americans. And many were still grateful to take a paycheck with insurance and other perks.
Ready to leave the ship
Nevertheless, there were a lot of unhappy campers. About 10% of workers surveyed in North Texas said they were prepared to quit if the opportunity presented itself.
The keyword here is opportunity, Claffey said. If you want to stop your loved ones from leaving, you have to show them where they are headed.
Employees were asked how much they agreed with 24 statements. The most important thing when it comes to revealing whether employees intend to leave or stay is, “I have considered looking for a better job over the past month.
Energage found nearly 13,800 employees on opposite ends of this spectrum of happiness. They used them as an online discussion group to find out why they hated or loved their jobs.
Our research partner searched for keywords in both sets of responses – growth, manager, benefits, compensation, diversity, stress, mission and purpose, etc. – to determine what matters most to at-risk leavers and here-to-stays.
The 7,159 who said, “Yeah! I’m getting off! ”They were asked,“ Besides a higher salary, what would make you less likely to leave this company? ”
Claffey’s favorite answer: “A million dollars.
Stuck in a rut
The issue was designed to minimize pay increases, which can be a significant secondary factor when it comes to employee disengagement, but are rarely the root cause, Claffey said.
“Compensation has always been the easy answer, so we try to filter it,” he said. “People aren’t necessarily looking for a better paying job. And the money won’t make them happier. We have known this for 16 years from our research.
Time and time again, D-FW employees who have said they want to leave have said they don’t see a clear career path for them.
“It’s about improving your situation in the business,” Claffey said. “In some cases, it’s not even upward mobility. They say, ‘I want a new role. I’m bored with which one I’m in ‘or’ I need variety. ‘ “
One disgruntled employee wanted “the opportunity to move into new roles or learn additional skills to use in my career.”
“There is limited upward mobility in the company and few opportunities to develop further,” said another.
Disliking coworkers and low benefits were the second and third most cited reasons for saying goodbye. Management, limited remote working, compensation, work / life balance and culture – in that order – completed their grievances.
The 6,637 D-FW workers who said, “Absolutely not! I’m here to stay! ”Were asked,“ What makes you want to stay in this business the most?
They love the people they work with, the culture of their company and, yes, their opportunities for career advancement – in that order 1, 2, 3.
The stay-putters were downright enthusiastic about their coworkers.
“I actually want to go to the office every morning so I can ‘hitch and pull the cart’ with these fine people,” said one hired employee. “We work for great customers who matter and we do our best for them. “
Word opportunity has arisen here too. “The endless possibilities to learn and advance in my career,” said one of the many who cited career growth as a big plus.
Appreciation, diversity, stress, micromanagement, and job security didn’t matter much to either group. Mission and purpose were low on the list for both cohorts.
“People can join a company because of its mission and values, but when they think about leaving, that’s not the reason. It’s also not a main reason to stay, ”Claffey said. “The exceptions to this rule are teachers and healthcare workers, who work in terrible conditions and stay because they see great purpose in what they do. “
Find the right place
When the pandemic sent many of us into work-from-home mode almost two years ago, we talked about the ‘new normal’. But few of us really thought it was an eternal thing.
But employees have gotten a taste of the flexibility of working from home and are demanding more, poll after poll.
“It’s the toothpaste that you can’t put back in the tube,” Claffey said.
Energage organizes competitions for the best places to work and carries out consulting work in 61 media markets. So while Claffey does not have specific updated data for North Texas, he does note many trends, including one interesting juxtaposition.
New college graduates who have just entered the workforce seek socialization and mentorship, while workers who are more established in their careers really enjoy working from home and spending more time with their families instead of struggling. the circulation.
“It creates this weird situation where young people come to the office to socialize, but they don’t have these mentors there to learn the ropes,” Claffey said. “I hear this from executives in all kinds of industries, but it’s mainly a white collar problem because many blue collar jobs are difficult to do remotely. “
Businesses need to decide how willing they are to be accommodating.
As Barbara Smith, CEO of Commercial Metals Co., one of our top 100 winners in the large business category, said: “There is no doubt that the future of work will mean more flexibility between work and work. personal life than ever. We now have the opportunity to strike a balance between time spent in the office and time spent working at home, ”she said.
Leaders take two different approaches.
“One of them is, ‘This is the New World, and we have to go with it,” Claffey said. The other is, ‘In our business and our industry it’s so important to have the experience and mentorship in the office that we will only accept people who are willing to work that way. “
Time will tell which tactic is most effective for which industries. It won’t be a one size fits all, he said.
“The CEO of an investment bank that I know took a very hard line on this,” Claffey said. “When new applicants come in and say, ‘I want to work from home a few days a week,’ he said, ‘Great, go somewhere else, not here. “
The craziest moment ever
Claffey has been helping companies tackle employee issues for nearly four decades and remembers nothing like the mind-boggling pay raises he now hears about to poach talent.
The closest thing to this was during the dot.com bubble, but it was mostly focused on tech talent, he said.
“In my discussions with senior leaders from across the country in companies of various sizes and industries – manufacturing, services, technology and so on. – I hear about people getting increases ranging from 50% to 300%. These are anecdotes, but there is certainly an awareness of what is going on.
“There is money that changes people’s lives now, and they take it,” Claffey said.
He is worried about where this salary increase might take us.
“Our economy cannot stand for everyone to get a 100% increase,” he said. “I wonder how and when the pendulum starts to go backwards again. But right now, it’s crazy.
Claffey also sometimes hears about people who left for a lot of money and have already boomeranged back because the grass wasn’t greener.
And that’s why businesses should always pay attention to these eight key reasons why people decide to stay or leave.