U.S. employers unfazed by workers’ intent to quit: Survey

61 per cent of management don't consider turnover urgent issue

Employers in the United States seem unfazed by workers’ intentions to seek a new position, according to a survey of 977 companies by AMA Enterprise, a division of the American Management Association.

Sixty-nine per cent of respondents see nothing new in employees keeping an eye out for new opportunities. But one-quarter concede turnover is a growing workplace issue and expect many employees to move on to a new job as soon as they can.

“At most of the organizations surveyed, senior management doesn’t yet see turnover as an urgent issue,” said Sandi Edwards, senior vice-president of AMA Enterprise. “Are they being dangerously complacent? Or perhaps they’ve gotten used to hearing threats to leave from those who have felt overworked or underappreciated during the economic downturn?”

When it comes to how urgently senior management regards the potential or actual turnover situation, nine per cent said they consider it “very urgent” and 30 per cent consider it “somewhat urgent,” while 39 per cent said senior managers consider it “not so urgent” and 22 per cent don’t consider it urgent at all, found the survey.

“The lack of focus on turnover tells me that many top-level executives are not tuned into the widespread worker dissatisfaction found in so much recent research,” said Edwards.

“Intent to leave is a key indicator of engagement and commitment to the organization. If management wants the best out of its people, they need to be aware of their stress and contribution levels. Management needs to work with them individually to understand what will meet their career goals along with what has to be done to drive the organization forward.”

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