Would Half of Your Top Performers Leave for the Right Opportunity?

BY Kathy Crosett
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We’ve come a long way from the Great Recession. U.S. adults who were desperate to be hired for any kind of paying job and who jumped over every imaginable bar a potential employer raised in front of them now have the upper hand. With unemployment at a low 4.4% and enterprises looking for top talent, workers may be grazing greener pastures. Is there anything you can do to stop your best team members from leaving?

ADP's Me vs. We Mindset report pinpoints the challenges enterprises face in keeping staff members happy. Over 3,000 businesses, with at least 50 employees, located across several countries, participated in the survey. In the U.S., the average tenure of the employees in this study was 7.5 years. While 59% of these workers feel loyal to their employer, 17% are actively seeking another position. Another 46% are passively looking. ADP analysts say these are the workers that management should be most worried about.

One way to retain these workers and boost loyalty and commitment is to make sure the work they perform makes them feel important with respect to the company mission. Managers agree this is an important goal, but they don’t always know how to communicate this concept. They could start, analysts say, by soliciting feedback and spending more time one-​on-​one with team members.

Talent management is another area that begs for improvement. Only 33% of workers in the U.S. say their companies are managing their talent and performance properly. Regularly discussing each employee’s strengths and weaknesses, and asking for feedback about the type of job they’d like to have in the future, can start the process of career planning.

While employees want to feel valued and want to know they can get career planning help from their employer, other issues loom large when they are considering employment changes.  Listed below are the top issues uncovered in the ADP survey. The percentages of younger millennials (ages 18–26) are reflected as the first number in each category, while the corresponding numbers for older millennials (ages 27–35) appear in parentheses.

  • Work hours 44% (37%)
  • Work itself 47% (43%)
  • Flexibility 33% (36%)
  • Paid time off 30% (30%)
  • Career development/​advancement 25% (28%)
  • Cost of benefits package 16% (28%)
  • Personality of hiring manager 14% (11%)
  • Company culture 20% (23%)

Businesses that are trying to attract younger employees can benefit by promoting reasonable work hours. On the other hand, employers who want to retain or attract older millennials should emphasize the actual work being done for a company and how it fits into the larger picture.

Either way, employers are facing a tight labor market and will need to use a multitude of HR tools and techniques to maintain a high level of worker satisfaction and to attract quality candidates.