A new survey from CareerBuilder claims that a 55-percent majority of US employees feel that they have just a job, not a career, and that 38 percent of these workers are likely to change jobs in the second half of 2017:
Almost three in 10 workers (28 percent) tolerate or hate their job. Of those who tolerate or hate their job, some of the top reasons for staying in a current position are the need to pay the bills (74 percent), its proximity to home (41 percent), needing the insurance (35 percent), it pays well (30 percent), or the job market is too tough (27 percent).
This survey picks up on something that we at CEB (now Gartner) have seen in our latest Global Talent Monitor data: Most US employees across a number of industries cite their future career opportunities as a leading reason for leaving their organization. Given this fact, it is easy to assume that this is a reflection that there is simply a lack of career opportunities available to employees, leading to disengagement and attrition. However, our data shows that this is not the case. We find that 12 percent of US employees we surveyed were actively dissatisfied with future career opportunities at their organizations and only 31 percent reported they were satisfied. The remaining 58 percent are somewhere in the middle—that is, neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, but rather neutral or ambivalent.
This finding suggests that while future career opportunities are a key part of employees seeking a new job, the claim that lack of future career opportunities is driving attrition at organizations is overstated. When we look at how an employee’s satisfaction with future career opportunities at their current organization affected their engagement levels, we do not see nearly as strong as a connection as CareerBuilder reports in their survey.
In a session at last week’s WorldatWork Total Rewards Conference and Exposition, Taco Bell Vice President of People and Experience Bjord Erland discussed how the fast food chain has handled turnover—a major challenge in its sector—in recent years. At HRE Daily, David Shadovitz passes along some insights from Erland’s talk:
Leadership was hearing that pay was a major reason people were leaving. But in order to come up with the right game plan, HR knew it needed more data. So it brought in global consultancy Mercer to better understand the key drivers behind the high turnover and identify ways to address it. When it looked at why workers stuck around, Taco Bell, a unit of Yum! Brands, found that a flexible work environment and strong culture were major drivers. As to why people were leaving, factors such as a high level of stress, lack of training and better opportunities elsewhere emerged as a big contributors. …
Well, the big “Aha!” for Taco Bell was learning that earnings were far more important to workers than their rate of pay. Were they working enough hours, including overtime, to bring home a bigger paycheck? (Erland noted that Taco Bell’s pay was competitive with others in the industry.) In light of these findings, Erland said, the company began to increase its use of “slack hours” to increase the amount of employee take home pay. “Turnover improved when employees were able to bring home more earnings,” he said.
When we talk to HR leaders about predictive analytics, the first thing they usually want to do with this new advanced tool is improve retention. That’s definitely easier said than done, especially if you want the project to actually drive results, instead of just being an interesting research topic. Aliah Wright at SHRM highlights the success story of one organization that had a strong need to retain its highly skilled employees and used predictive analytics to help meet that goal:
When a top employee at the Anderson Center for Autism, a private school in Staatsburg, N.Y., handed in her resignation, the school’s HR department was expecting her. The HR staff had been using a predictive analytics program to help them gauge retention. “The software is so good that we were developing a retention plan for her as she was preparing to resign,” said Gregg Paulk, director of information technologies for the 92-year-old nonprofit organization. After HR staff spoke with her, “she actually rescinded her resignation,” he added. …
In 2001, the school undertook a new technology initiative spurred and funded by the No Child Left Behind legislation. Using Ultimate Software’s UltiPro, Paulk said the company “grew … and kept head count flat, reduced paper [processes] by 95 percent, and increased the time spent on employee development by 30 percent. The software also allows staff to manage time and attendance from anywhere [and yields] improved reporting and compliance.
“The software also helped us avoid the loss of key talent with predictive tools. It’s really powerful, and it’s astonishing the results we’ve seen,” Paulk said. “[The tools] helped us understand our challenges and put the puzzle pieces together.”
It looks like Anderson has done a couple of things really well, which makes it a great example of how to apply analytics most effectively.
Fast Company’s Jared Lindzon interviews Oregon State University business professor Anthony Klotz, whose new paper delves into the dynamics of how employees quit their jobs and the impact it has on their employers:
In his initial studies Klotz found that there were seven common ways in which people resign, listed in order of their frequency:
- By the book (31%). These resignations involve a face-to-face meeting with one’s manager to announce the resignation, a standard notice period, and an explanation of the reason for quitting.
- Perfunctory (23.5%). These resignations are similar to “by the book” resignations, except the meeting tends to be shorter and the reason for quitting is not provided.
- Avoidant (12.7%). This occurs when employees let other employees such as peers, mentors, or human resources representatives know that they plan to leave rather than giving notice to their immediate boss.
- Grateful goodbye (10%). Employees express gratitude toward their employer and often offer to help with the transition period.
- Bridge burning (8.6%). In this resignation style, employees seek to harm the organization or its members on their way out the door, often with verbal assaults.
- In the loop (7.9%). In these resignations, employees typically confide in their manager that they are contemplating quitting, or are looking for another job, before formally resigning.
- Impulsive quitting (6.3%). Some employees simply walk off the job, never to return or communicate with their employer again. This can leave the organization in quite a lurch, given it is the only style in which no notice is provided.
For their new book, Stop Spending, Start Managing: Strategies to Transform Wasteful Habits, management professors Tanya Menon and Leigh Thompson surveyed a group of executives and asked them to estimate how much money their companies lost each day due to people problems, “from interpersonal conflicts and unproductive weekly staff meetings to hiring the wrong employees and investing in training programs that don’t work.” In an excerpt from the book at the Harvard Business Review, they reveal, “We expected our study to reveal significant waste. However, we were not ready for the magnitude of the results”:
In the course of a day, the executives estimated wasting an average of $7,227.07 per line item per day, for a total of $144,541.30 per day, summing each of the twenty points of waste. That’s an astounding $52,757,574 of lost value and potential per year per organization on people problems. These are perceptions rather than scientific measures, but they reveal significant amount of lost value.
Other studies reveal similar waste. For example, in one study, American employees reported spending 2.8 hours per week dealing with conflict, amounting to approximately $359 billion in paid hours, or the equivalent of 385 million working days in the country as a whole. Further, 25 percent of employees said that avoiding conflict led to sickness or absence from work, and nearly 10 percent reported that workplace conflict led to project failure.
We also know from CEB’s Global Talent Monitor that people problems are among the primary drivers of attrition. People management has been the third strongest attrition driver for quite some time now (behind future career opportunity and compensation) and manager quality is usually not too far behind on that list. So, on top of these perceived day-to-day costs of people problems, organizations also are at risk of huge additional costs should disgruntled employees leave: The cost of turnover isn’t exactly chump change.
A bill put forward by the Indian government at the end of last year to increase the mandatory amount of maternity leave employers must offer new mothers from 12 to 26 weeks passed the Rajya Sabha, India’s upper house of parliament last week, clearing its second-to-last legislative hurdle before it can be enacted. According to the Indian Express, the bill, which applies to all establishments with more than 10 employees, also provides 12 weeks’ leave to mothers who add a child to their family by adoption or surrogacy and requires organizations with more than 50 women employees to provide an on-site creche or daycare facility.
The amendment now moves forward to the Lok Sabha, which will take it up in its next session in November. Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi, the driving force behind the amendment, is “very hopeful” that the lower house will pass it.
While Gandhi’s primary stated rationale for the bill is to combat malnutrition by making it easier for working mothers to breastfeed, advocates hope it will also encourage more Indian women to remain in the workforce after having children. Experts believe the expanded mandate could help curb attrition among working women, Namrata Singh reports at the Economic Times:
Everyone knows that investment banking is a stressful, high-pressure field with high rates of burnout, which is why some major Wall Street firms are growing more sensitive to their employees’ work-life balance needs, encouraging them to take weekends off or introducing parental leave benefits. An obvious motivation for these changes is retention: These banks stand to make more money if they can avoid burning their young analysts out in a matter of two or three years.
Wall Street may have another new attrition problem on its hands, though, this time regarding star talent at higher levels. “Investment bankers are increasingly leaving Wall Street to work for the companies they advise,” Portia Crowe writes at Business Insider, “and it’s starting to hurt the banking industry in more ways that one”:
JPMorgan’s Alejandro Vicente, a managing director in consumer goods, is the latest to make the jump. … But he’s not the only one. Earlier this year, former Morgan Stanley banker Alban de La Sabliere joined the French drug maker Sanofi, which is now bidding to buy the pharmaceutical company Medivation. …
The departures are a double-edged sword for banks. Not only are they losing top talent, but they could begin to miss out on deals as companies turn to in-house experts rather than hire on teams of bankers.