According to a recent Gallup survey, half of U.S. employees are watching the job market or actively looking for a job.* Fewer than one in 10 who change jobs stay at the same company,† which means job hopping can cost businesses a lot of time and money.
How many of your best employees are currently considering a new job? What can you do to prevent them from leaving? If you want to be successful in your human resource career, these are two questions you will want to be able to answer. Fortunately, Gallup’s study provides some guidance.
According to Gallup, the number one reason employees take a new job is this: they want to do what they do best.* The potential to earn more money also factors into many job hoppers’ decision-making, but it’s important for HR managers to recognize that most employees job hop because they don’t feel they’re being given the opportunity to be their best.
Since most job hoppers are changing jobs for opportunity and not simply for money, you can do a lot to reduce this type of turnover through stronger human resource management. The key is to do a better job of engaging with your employees.
According to the Gallup survey, switching companies seems to give an initial boost to an employee’s engagement.* After the initial 3-year period, engagement decreases. Interestingly, engagement then increases at 10 years of employment. Why the increase after a decade? Because those who’ve been with a company for a long time are more likely than other employees to know what’s expected of them and to feel as if they have opportunities to do what they do best.
These findings suggest that, despite what job hoppers believe, the best way to find a job that gives you the opportunity to do what you do best is to stay with one organization for many years. However, the majority of businesses do a poor job of keeping employees engaged beyond their first few years. In fact, Gallup’s survey finds that longer-term employees routinely report feeling that newer hires are better supported by their organization.
The most obvious conclusion is that if you want employees to stick around, you need to support and engage them at all levels of tenure. To do this, you can:
From the moment you hire an employee, you should be working to maximize their potential. Excitement for a new job will wane, but if your employees are growing and being placed in a position where they can succeed, they will continue to feel as if they’re doing their best work, even after the honeymoon is over.
It seems simple, but many employers do a poor job of letting employees know what’s expected of them. That’s because expectations are more than a list of job duties. They also involve knowing how to prioritize in a manner that fits the company’s goals, knowing how your job interrelates with the jobs of other employees, and knowing how your performance influences the overall success or failure of the business. Making sure all employees fully understand these expectations can help prevent them from feeling lost or unsupported.
Never assume that even your longest-term employees can’t improve or don’t have any suggestions. You’ll increase your ability to keep employees if you regularly provide them the feedback they need to do their jobs well, and if you take the time to listen to their concerns and ideas.
If you’re serious about succeeding in a human resources career, one of the best choices you can make is to earn an MS in Human Resource Management. This advanced human resource degree can help you gain the skills and knowledge you need to engage employees and improve retention.
You don’t even have to take a break from your HR career—or any other career—to earn your master’s in human resource management. Thanks to online education, you can enroll in an online master’s in human resource program and complete your coursework on a flexible schedule designed to let you continue working full time. Earning an HR degree from an online university is an excellent way to put yourself in position to succeed as an HR manager.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering an online MS in Human Resource Management degree program. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.
*A. Mann and B. McCarville, What Job-Hopping Employees Are Looking For, Gallup, on the internet at www.gallup.com/businessjournal/186602/job-hopping-employees-looking.aspx?g_source=STRENGTHS&g_medium=topic&g_campaign=tiles.
†B. Rigoni and B. Nelson, When Making Career Moves, Americans Switch Companies, Gallup, on the internet at www.gallup.com/businessjournal/186311/making-career-moves-americans-switch-companies.aspx.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.