Employee Communication Shown as Key to Retention

Employee Update

Nearly 75 percent of U.S. and Canadian workers are either actively looking for new jobs or would consider a new position if they were approached, according to Ceridian’s 2018 Pulse of Talent report. That’s a stark sign for employers and hints that, barring unforeseen developments, the labor market won’t loosen anytime soon.

Drilling down, however, the survey revealed some contradictory findings. For example, almost three-quarters of employees age 18 to 24 decide within 12 months whether or not they’ll remain with their employer for the long term. But respondents who said they were unhappy still planned on sticking with their current organization for an average of 2.4 more years. That doesn’t sound like a rush for the exits when many other opportunities beckon.

Interestingly, employees with less than a year’s tenure said they’d like to stay with their employer for an average 8.5 years. Those with one to five years at a firm said they’d like to remain for less than seven, and those with five to 10 years would like to stay for nine.

Employee Communications is Key

We wonder if that has something to do with culture and employee experience, which factor into employees’ decisions in a big way, Ceridian said. For example, among workers who said their company practices their stated values, 90 percent were satisfied with their job. Of those who don’t believe their companies practice what they preach, 52 percent were satisfied.

In case you question the value of employee communications, only 49 percent of workers are aware of whether their job has an impact on the business. Share on X

This also caught our eye: Ninety-two percent of employees who feel their contributions have an impact on business goals are pleased with their job. But—and this is a big ‘but’—only 51 percent felt their contributions mattered. And in case you question the value of employee communications, only 49 percent were aware whether their work has an impact or not. Of those, 58 percent were satisfied with their jobs.

That led Ceridian’s Chief People and Culture Officer Lisa Sterling to remark, “Companies that want to succeed in retaining their star employees need to paint a picture of how their contributions can and do make a difference.” Put another way, HR and corporate leadership should remember how important it is to keep the workforce abreast of what’s going on around the company and how each individual fits into it.

Why They Stay and Why They Go

Not surprisingly, respondents of all ages said pay was the top reason they left their last job. Thirty-seven percent of workers aged 18 to 34 said it was a contributor to their decision to leave, compared to 24 percent for workers over 50. That makes sense at a time when age discrimination is becoming more apparent and the solidity of retirement plans less certain.

On the other hand, the most important reason people stay with their current employer, cited by 15 percent, is that they “love what they do,” Ceridian said. Though rated less important, salary, job security, benefits and flexibility filled out the top five.

(We should note that most people can only love what they do when they understand what it means to the company.)

Growth potential also matters, the survey found. A desire to tackle new challenges every few years caused 39 percent of respondents to look for a new position, while 32 percent believed they’ll need to change employers if they want to advance their career. On average, employees said two years is a reasonable timeframe in which to expect a promotion. However, they also reported waiting five years for a step up at their current workplace.

“If your workplace culture is lacking and your leadership isn’t transparent, authentic and people-centric, then employee engagement will naturally be low,” Sterling said. Ceridian’s data, she believes, “shows the real reason a person becomes a flight risk is because employers fail to focus on addressing career growth and development.”

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