Job satisfaction in the workplace is not always the easiest feat to accomplish. Many employers across the United States are struggling to retain talented employees. According to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2015, almost one quarter (33.4 million) of US employees voluntarily quit their jobs. Almost two-fifths (37%) of US employees are thinking about leaving their jobs, which is an increase of 33% since 2011.

This type of turnover can cost companies a significant amount of money. According to a study by Josh Bersin, the Principal and Founder or Bersin by Deloitte, replacement costs can be as high as 50% – 60% of an employee’s annual salary, with total costs associated with turnover as high as 150% – 200% of an employee’s annual salary. Time is also a factor when considering turnover. It can take a new employee as long as two years to reach the same level of productivity as an existing staff member.

With these statistics in mind, it is critical to know why these employees are leaving their companies at a higher rate than in the past. According to a study done by Ernst & Young in May of 2015, the top reasons why employees quit were: minimal wage growth, lack of opportunity to advance, excessive overtime hours, a work environment that does not encourage teamwork and a boss that doesn’t allow you to work flexibly.

Besides competitive pay and benefits, the most common benefits that employees want in a potential job are: work flexibility while still being able to be on track for a promotion; working with colleagues, including bosses, that support work flexibility; receiving paid parental leave; being able to relocate closer to family; receiving onsite or subsidized childcare; and the ability to shut off emails and calls when needed.

Coca-Cola has recently changed a portion of its employee policy, effective January 1, 2017, to allow paid parental leave for both moms and dads. This is a prime example of a company that has answered the requests of its employees and is appealing to the millennial generation, which is the generation that is starting to become more involved in management positions. This generation has reached the average age where many of these individuals will be becoming moms and dads as well. A policy like this one is likely to help retain more employees.

One of the most prevalent benefits that an employee wants in his or her work setting is flexibility and a good work-life balance. For some individuals, having flexibility at work might take the form of a mid-afternoon workout or it could mean being able to have lunch with your child. Every workplace is different though, so it could be beneficial for your company to survey your employees to see what they would prefer in terms of flexibility options.

Tailoring to the needs of all of your employees may seem impossible. An employee satisfaction survey could help determine what areas to focus on. Also, referring to the lists mentioned above may be a good start to get the discussion going to make improvements in your company.


Article written by:
Stephen Gable
Assurance Senior

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