With America still recovering from the recent recession, it may seem that those who are employed have little to complain about, that they are the lucky ones. But, even in tough times, it is human nature to not only want a job, but also want a job that you actually enjoy. It is this ideal that can leave employers seeing turnover even in a tough job market: people resign and move on, forever looking for the perfect cubicle.
This, of course, might not be everybody: some people simply concede that a job is merely a job, not something they have to enjoy. However, working 40 hours a week for roughly 40 years of your life inevitably leaves people with wanting some form of satisfaction. When they can’t get any, they look elsewhere.
Why Do They Leave?
According to recent CEB Quarterly Global Labor Market research, and as reported by Forbes, the top five most important things to people seeking jobs are:
- Stability of their position and industry – People want to know that their job will last; no one enjoys perpetually worrying about layoffs and cutbacks.
- Compensation – Salary is always important to workers. Tying in with stability, people often prefer jobs with guaranteed compensation, rather than one that relies on commission.
- Respect from coworkers and management – Recently becoming more important to people, those who take their career seriously want that acknowledged. Respect may be particularly important to people who hope to advance up the corporate ladder.
- Good health benefits – Health care costs are skyrocketing and, to the employee, no or poor health insurance is akin to a pay cut. Not only are individual health plans important, but family ones are as well; often a spouse and dependents will rely on a company health plan for coverage.
- Ability to balance work with life – Some people may live to work, but the majority of people do the opposite. This isn’t to say most people don’t want to be committed to their jobs; rather, they want a balance that allows them to be dedicated to their jobs, but dedicated to their family more.
With these assets being what employees most often desire, any job that lacks them is at risk for resignation.
Absence of the above is certainly not the only reason people may decide to turn in their company ID. Some people may tire of a long commute; others may want to try something new. Some people may desire a different challenge; others may have outside circumstances (such as a sick relative) influencing their decision. Finally, some people may quit because they have to relocate, have come into money, or need a job where they can work from home.
Are the Employers at Fault?
Many things that make people want to leave a job – such as mandatory overtime or health benefits that cover virtually nothing – may not always be something that can be controlled; it is possible a company simply doesn’t have the funds to offer quality healthcare, for instance.
However, according to CNBC, some of the blame does lie on company management: a Robert Half study reported that 38 percent of 2100 chief financial officers said that retaining valuable staff was their company’s top priority. Yet, only 13 percent said that improving the happiness of employees was a top concern as well.
In this, it seems, lies the irony: companies want to hire good employees, but they are not willing to work hard enough to appease good people. In the end, the lesson is summed up best with an old adage: you get what you pay for. If companies want to keep quality employees, then the compensation and benefits must be of quality as well.
About the Author
This article was contributed by Mark Cunningham, entrepreneur, small business supporter and worker rights advocate. If you suspect you’ve been a victim of wrongful termination, Mark suggests the Farley Law Firm of Los Angeles, CA.