What’s Keeping Your Employees From Resigning?

Retention has always been important to business, but these days, it’s mission-critical. A recent survey revealed the exact factors that are keeping workers on board.

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What's Keeping Your Employees From Resigning?

Here's what you need to know:

  • A recent survey from CareerBuilder outlines what’s working and what isn’t when it comes to employee retention
  • They found more than half of American workers are content in their roles
  • Scheduling is the top reason workers stay and a flexible work model can also help retain talent
  • Having friends in the workplace helps to retain employees
  • Fair pay and healthcare benefits are additional important factors in retention

Retention has always been important to business, but these days, it’s mission-critical. Holding on to top performers used to be a top priority — today, holding on to even mid-range talent is imperative.

While less-than-stellar performers may not be setting the world on fire, they’re doing the work necessary that allows top talent the time and bandwidth to do the heavy lifting. Understanding what’s keeping your staff on the payroll, and what may be driving them away, may be key for business success.

A September survey from CareerBuilder outlines what’s working and what isn’t when it comes to employee retention. They found more than half of American workers, 52%, are content in their roles.

That’s good news for business: even better, the survey revealed why these employees are not looking to make a change. That knowledge could help businesses shift the way they operate to decrease turnover.

What’s keeping your workers from quitting?

A closer look at the breakdown from the survey could put businesses at an advantage when it comes to retention.

Knowledge is power. Several areas were noted as key factors in their decision not to make a change. Minor adjustments in any of these could help reduce churn.

Scheduling is the top reason workers stay

The survey found scheduling is the top reason to stay put for American workers: 56% say their schedule is the biggest draw in their current role.

Women were 10% more likely to choose scheduling, at 61%, than their male counterparts. But at 51% for males, work schedule is the top reason to stay on the job.

Scheduling priorities may include a wide range of options. For some workers, hours and days are the most important factor.

For others, the ability to work remotely is key to retention. Workers are happy with (and looking for) employers who recognize how scheduling can affect job satisfaction and work/life balance.

How this information helps your business

Flexible scheduling came to the fore during and post-pandemic. Some workers were remote, others stayed on-site. As conditions changed, many companies have become a hybrid workplace.

While companies reaped the benefits of lower operating costs with workers in remote settings, many feel the tradeoff of not being in person is no longer worthwhile. Unfortunately, many staffers disagree.

Staff members who were productive working from anywhere were hesitant to return to the office as the virus waned. Some had health-related concerns, which most businesses tried to accommodate.

For others, the convenience, commuting cost savings, and work/life balance were difficult to give up to return on-site.

For many companies, getting staff members back to the office started with enticements: when those didn’t work, they moved to threats. Every company is struggling to get staff members back to the office — you’re not alone.

A flexible work model can help retain talent

Consider whether continuing remote work or a flexible work model is worth keeping, or even pursuing, in your efforts to retain and potentially attract talent. There are many benefits to allowing workers to do their job from home for staffers and for business.

For staff that is highly productive, particularly those who work independently most of the time, it might be counter-productive to demand they get back to the daily commute.

For many staff members, flexible hours and shifts are the key to job satisfaction.

Weigh your company’s options against the potential of losing talent, then decide if this top reason for retention is worth continuing or considering.

Flexibility doesn’t just mean remote or hybrid work. For many staff members, flexible hours and shifts are the key to job satisfaction.

Flex scheduling isn’t just for working parents who need to work around school or daycare hours. Many workers would love to miss rush hour or commuting traffic in favor or an earlier or later start to their day.

If you can accommodate a bit of flexibility, it may be a no-cost option that pays dividends in the long run. Not only will you save the cost of replacing talent, they’ll likely be more appreciative of the benefit and possibly more productive in order to retain it.

Having friends in the workplace helps to retain workers

Nearly half of workers cited colleagues the most appealing factor of their job satisfaction. Overall 48% of workers said their colleagues and work friends were important factors for retention. For Gen Z workers, that number rose to 58%.

Relationships at work play a key role in how we perform our jobs: when teams work together seamlessly, productivity rises. When they don’t, performance suffers. When we have work friends to chat with, the day is more enjoyable. It’s no surprise this came in 2nd for the workers polled.

How this information helps your business

While you won’t be scheduling play dates or romantic rendezvous, you can encourage work friendships and relationships. The stronger the bond between workers, the more they have each other’s back — and the more likely they are to stay on the job.

Work with staff to create opportunities and events where people can connect beyond work chat.

Regular social events, after work or during work hours can help. A great way to build work relationships is to put together teams — softball, bowling, and basketball may be a good way to get staffers to connect.

Book, music, or movie club meetings on-site or after work can help staffers find common ground. Events, like mini golf outings or workshops offered can also help. The more relationships they build, the more retention you build.

Fair pay is another important factor in retention

In a close 3rd place at 46%, fair wages were another important factor in retention. Employees may not be looking for signing bonuses or lottery-level increases, but they are interested in a fair wage for their work.

Fair pay was cited more for men, at 52%, than women at 39%, but it’s no surprise workers are drawn to employers that pay a competitive wage.

Fair pay signals that employers put value on their staff members. When employees are not compensated well, they’re actively looking for another position. To keep them on your payroll, make sure you’re paying as well as possible.

How this information helps your business

In every company there needs to be routine oversight into compensation management. Are you paying staff equitably within the organization and competitively in the market?

It starts with analysis of internal data: comparing similar jobs and positions at the financial level to assure you’re paying a fair wage within the company. If not, consider making adjustments to retain and attract talent.

External factors can be challenging. As the market for talent continues to evolve, you may be forced to pay new hires more than existing staff.

This can quickly become a problem if current, trained employees feel they’re being disrespected. Adjustments will need to be made to affirm their value to the organization.

Another indicator is what’s going on in the market around you. Pay transparency is becoming the norm, so it’s easy to look at online job boards and local advertisements to see what the market is for any position in your company.

Make sure to check market conditions routinely. Fair compensation isn’t a one-and-done effort: it’s ongoing as the market continues to be in flux.

Health benefits are important for retention

More than 1/3 of workers, 34%, cited health benefits as key to remaining on the job. For workers, even the minimum health coverage can  mean the difference when it comes to staying on the job. For workers with families, the benefit can be even more critical to retention.

Healthcare costs continue to skyrocket, with no end in sight. When businesses offer even the minimum assistance to staff members they see retention rise. For job seekers, healthcare coverage in many cases is more attractive than the hourly wage.

How this information helps your business

Knowing how important healthcare coverage is to workers can help organizations look more closely at the benefit they offer, or the benefits they’re considering offering.

When you balance the cost of coverage against the cost of turnover, many companies find offering healthcare plans is the less expensive choice. For many companies, offering healthcare can translate into a lower starting hourly wage.

It can be difficult to navigate the many requirements and options available. For some small businesses, the ACA mandates some benefits be provided to workers. In other businesses, market conditions drive the decision whether to offer healthcare, and to which staff members.

When a decision has been made, it can be challenging to find the right coverage for staff at a price point that is acceptable. Many companies look to 3rd-party providers to help them navigate options and get the best possible coverage for staff at a cost that’s affordable for the business and its workers.

What’s your biggest 2022 HR challenge that you’d like to resolve

Answer to see the results

Determine your employees’ retention must-haves

Understanding what employees want from their company is the 1st step in retention: acting on that knowledge is next. If you can, work with staff members to provide as many of these top retention ‘must-haves’ as possible. You’ll see turnover shrink while productivity increases.

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