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Employee Retention Levels Set To Fall – New Report Reveals

Submitted by  on March 4th, 2011

In my previous post on the latest BlessingWhite employee engagement report, I looked at their findings on overall and regional employee engagement levels. In this post, I want to consider worker turnover. We know that employee retention is a significant indicator of employee engagement. How mobile are employees intending to be? Globally, BlessingWhite reports that 61% of employees intend to stay with their current employer for the next 12 months. Employees in Southeast Asia are most wedded to their employer with 73% reporting loyalty, whilst European employees are the most restless with less than half (48%) intending to stay.

Since the Global Financial Crisis, employment volatility has risen, with more employees planning on leaving their organization within the following 12 months. In North America, the rate has almost doubled from 7% to 13% of employees expressing an intention to leave. China is most affected, with nearly three times as many employees wanting to leave compared with 2008 (rise from 5% to 16%). Even more alarming, the BlessingWhite analysis shows that top performers are also more likely to leave compared with the 2008 survey findings. The results are a wake up call for organizations to put in place now robust leadership development and succession planning programs.

When asked why they will stay, the most popular answer employees gave was that they liked the work. Other significant considerations are development opportunities and job conditions. This finding only supports previous research showing that people don’t predominantly stay for money. Tellingly, when the data is segregated into engaged and disengaged employees, the different motivators between the two groups are uncovered.

Whereas engaged employees stay with their employer for what they can contribute, disengaged employees stay for the job security, money and job conditions. In my previous post on pay for performance, I underscored how using money as a motivator can attract the wrong kind of individual; an employee who has little intrinsic interest in the work. This study further reinforces this key point that once salary is set at a fair level, then putting more money into the pot only attracts the bottom scrapers.

What are you doing to keep your high performers from leaving your organization? How are you keeping your high potentials motivated and challenged? Please share your insights and stories here.

Check out BlessingWhite’s complete report as it contains separate analyses for each region: North America, India, Europe, Southeast Asia, Australia/New Zealand and China. Plus, stay tuned for my next post on BlessingWhite’s report in which I reveal their findings on the factors that most contribute to employee satisfaction and the implications for us all.


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