Employees stay for work, leave for career: Survey

Lack of advancement opportunities top reason employees jump ship
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 04/14/2011

Enjoyable work is the top reason employees worldwide stay with their current employer, according to a global study by consulting firm BlessingWhite, in Princeton, N.J.

Thirty per cent of the 11,000 employees surveyed from North America, Asia, Australia and Europe said the work they do is the most important factor influencing their decision to stay with their current employer. Other top reasons include opportunities for advancement (17 per cent); their manager, colleagues or the economy (15 per cent); and the organization’s mission (11 per cent).

In contrast, the top reason respondents gave for jumping ship is the lack of advancement opportunities (26 per cent). Other reasons include job conditions, colleagues, the economy and the organization’s mission (18 per cent); unfulfilling work (15 per cent); and insufficient pay (15 per cent), according to The Employee Engagement Report 2011.

“Business leaders are right to be concerned about retention of top talent,” said Christopher Rice, CEO of BlessingWhite. “And while raises may encourage some workers to stick around, our findings suggest that employees — especially high performers — will remain in jobs that challenge them, utilize their expertise and provide meaning.”

After enjoyable work, career advancement is the second most important retention factor in India, China, Australia/New Zealand and Southeast Asia. In North America and Europe, favourable job conditions, such as a good commute or flexible hours, ranks second, found the study.

Although workers across generations agree on their top reasons for staying and leaving, generation Y workers place higher priority on career opportunities than they do their work. Likewise, gen-Y employees are more likely to leave in pursuit of more money. Baby boomers, on the other hand, seek more interesting work and change.

“When employees understand that today’s career is all about creating a portfolio of assignments and projects, not necessarily promotions and new titles, they’re better prepared to concentrate on finding work that they enjoy — and work that can help the organization achieve its goals," said Rice.

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