These days, more employers accept job hopping as the new norm. However, dismissing high employee turnover as a millennial trait may prevent employers from understanding the underlying reasons why workers aren't sticking around. Employees leave jobs when they don't predict a bright future in their current positions, creating ripe recruitment opportunities for competitor companies willing to work harder to retain top talent.
Obstacles to Talent Retention
Many employers operate in two worlds: a modern job market in which professionals actively seek out new opportunities and an outdated work culture that values longevity over individual growth. Keeping workers in the same job for decades was feasible when consumer goods changed at a slow pace, but technological advancements in the 21st century are continually reshaping industries, changing consumer expectations and creating jobs that didn't exist a few years ago. High employee turnover is a byproduct of focusing entirely on recruitment and onboarding while allowing workers to stagnate once they're assimilated into the company.
In a 2017 report, Glassdoor Economic Research analyzed more than 5,000 job transitions from 2007 to 2016 to pinpoint factors motivating employees to abandon their current companies. Regardless of industry or pay, job stagnation consistently contributed to employee turnover, and staying in a stagnant role for an additional 10 months made workers 1 percent more likely to jump ship for their next job. The study also found that workers typically moved to companies with better Glassdoor ratings for workplace culture, values and career opportunities, indicating an overall desire for employers who encourage development and provide a conducive environment.
Retaining a Strong Workforce
Employees are most successful and engaged when they concentrate on their strengths, so it's reasonable for them to desire career mobility as their skill sets expand. Stagnation sets in when employees feel their abilities are being wasted and they don't see a clear career trajectory. As a result, employers should combat employee turnover by outlining potential career paths and giving workers opportunities to explore roles in other departments. Highlighting the career paths of long-time employees can help new hires envision a future with the company and show them that there's more than one route to leadership. However, lateral moves can be just as attractive as upward mobility, making it valuable to support employees when their interests and career aspirations change.
Unsurprisingly, fair pay is also crucial for talent retention. Companies became accustomed to awarding raises less than 5 percent during the Great Recession, but those numbers didn't go up when the economy improved. Employees expect job titles and raises to reflect their growth, and they can typically earn a 5 to 10 percent raise by switching to new employers. In fact, Glassdoor's research determined that employee loyalty was driven by the perception that a company invests in its workers, and factors such as work-life balance and senior leadership had little impact on employee turnover. Compensating talented workers at the current market rate is less expensive than dealing with high employee turnover, so companies that want to hold on to talented workers should not view fair pay as an obstacle to profit.
Internal transitions save money and help employers retain workers who understand the company's mission. Employers must communicate frequently with workers about new opportunities and help employees progress within the organization to reduce employee turnover.
Photo courtesy of Sira Anamwong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net