Half of employees (49%) job hunted in 2021, according to the fifth annual Engagement and Retention report from Achievers Workforce Institute. Almost as many (41%) say they will definitely job hunt in 2022, with a further 25% saying they’re undecided about whether to stay in their current role.
View the 6th annual Engagement and Retention Report: The future is flexible: 2023 workforce trends
That means two-thirds of your employees have one foot out the door.
With such low levels of job commitment, employers could face a second year of significant turnover, further challenging them during an already demanding year. Business results are likely to suffer during a second year of high turnover, stress, and burnout.
This is truly an unprecedented time in global history to be leading an organization or heading up a people function. Between the ongoing pandemic, the Great Resignation, a worsening labor shortage, and a workforce on the edge of burnout, the magnitude of the need to provide employees with support and safe passage through the turmoil around them is of epic proportion. It can feel nearly impossible to know where to invest, and where to prioritize limited time and resources.
What is causing this lack of job commitment and how can you address it?
Culture is suffering due to lack of communication and connection
Half of employees (48%) say culture has deteriorated during the pandemic, placing blame on a lack of communication, employee input, and meaningful connection. There are clear ways for employers to address this issue if they’re willing to put in the effort and resources.
With so many employees saying company culture has deteriorated, it is vital that employers invest time and resources into ensuring they intentionally develop and maintain a culture that supports a powerful employee experience. The top reasons given for deteriorating culture are lack of communication, lack of employee input, and failure to connect with remote employees. Employers that are not committed to communication, feedback, and connection will struggle to engage and retain employees in 2022 and beyond.
Just 20% of employees are highly engaged
Engagement, which is highly correlated with retention, remains low with only 20% reporting they are very engaged. This is on par with last year when 21% said the same.
Asked how employers can increase engagement, the number-one answer provided by employees was to improve company culture. Certainly, the path to a stronger company culture differs for every organization and requires significant employee input. However, the need to develop a culture strategy is universal and only 52% of companies in this study have even asked employees what they wish to see improved in their company culture. Without ongoing employee input, the path to improved culture remains unclear and HR leaders are at risk of investing in initiatives that are not meaningful to the employees they intend to serve.
52% of employees say they stay in a job because they feel valued and supported
More than half of employees who are committed to their roles say that commitment is driven by feeling meaningfully supported or valued.
Work-life balance is reported as the number-one reason to stay in a role, followed by recognition and manager relationships. People stay because they feel meaningfully supported and valued. Creating this type of culture is a protective factor in the midst of ongoing crisis.
Employers who create a culture of support and inclusion will secure higher rates of talent retention. Communication, employee input, and connection are all key to creating that culture. By investing in two-way communication, acting on employee input, and encouraging connection at all levels, employers can ensure employees feel the support and sense of inclusion they’re seeking.
The number-one reason for job hunting is career progression
When it comes to the biggest pull factors for employees, career progression tops the list. Identifying opportunities for promotion and growth is top of mind for those who plan to job hunt in 2022. This was the number-one rationale given by job seekers, by a significant amount, indicating that employees are set on taking the driver’s seat when it comes to their career. People are re-evaluating what they want and need from their job and are looking for roles that better fulfil and challenge them.
Employers who want to retain top talent should ensure they are offering clear career paths and growth opportunities.