A new survey says fully one-third of employees are actively looking for a new job and hope to make a switch before the end of 2019.

In the current employment market, they feel empowered to do so. That's a good thing from a national economic perspective, but it's pretty darn frightening if you're an employer trying to hold onto your best workers.

So, what's the solution? Fair pay and good treatment matter of course. Benefits and commuting time matter, and in fact 42 percent of those surveyed said if their employer offered Summer Fridays they'd be more likely to want to stick around.

But maybe there's an additional area of focus that you should consider.

That's because the same survey, conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder, also found that 50 percent of U.S. employees feel like they're just putting in time at a job -- and not really building a career.

Day after day, week after week, month after month, that grates on them. Among the things that they say make them feel that way:

  • Just 32 percent of employees say they're satisfied with opportunities for career advancement;
  • Only 37 percent say they're happy with the level of "training and learning opportunities" they have at work;
  • Fully 58 percent say they don't think their company offers the kind of learning opportunities they need to advance in their careers;
  • And 73 percent say they wish their companies would offer "educational opportunities or workshops outside of work hours."

Now, we see these kinds of surveys often enough. And not knowing about your business, it's impossible to say whether the results here apply to you.

Do half of your employees really feel like you're not invested properly in their advancement? Are a third of them really planning to leave before New Year's Day?

For both your sake and theirs, I hope not. 

But it's also worth noting that the things these employees say bother them most about work are also the results we expect to see when bosses don't lead effectively.

It comes down really to respecting people's time:

  • Articulating a goal that they agree is worth their efforts.
  • Working to remove obstacles and ensuring that they have the tools they need.
  • Recognizing that personal growth and security are important.

So, as a boss, it seems your options are either to give your employees ways to pursue the opportunities they want, or else stay in a perpetual recruiting mode, constantly replacing top employees who walk out the door.

Might as well throw in Summer Fridays, too. 

Published on: Jul 26, 2019
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