Friday, September 16, 2005

"Why employees walk" away from the job

The Hudson Employment Index measures confidence in the employment market by the US workforce. Their recently released report, "Why Employees Walk 2005: Retention Initiatives Report" had some interesting insights as to why you or I might go looking for another job.

Ranking higher than inadquate pay and benefits on the "reasons to go" scale were intangibles such as advancement opportunities and training. According to the report:

... when workers’ needs regarding career advancement, managerial relationship, and training are not being met, they are more likely to look for a new job than when their salary and benefits are poor.

Yep and I believe it. In fact, at a recent employee meeting, top brass acknowledged shortcomings in all three areas. Employee surveys of the last two years have called out as being weaknesses a lack of training and few opportunities for advancement in particular. And for the last two years I have related same in a (management requested) review of my own boss.

The company needs to get a whole lot better at recognizing and leveraging the knowledge and skills of those of us in the "ranks" -- especially the more seasoned among us -- if they hope to keep good talent.

I don't think this is unusual to my employer. Over the last decade as companies have become "leveled" organizationally, they've gained agility and response time, it's true. But it seems to me that a flat organization offers little in the way of opportunity for growth. And when there's no place to go, employees can become stagnant and bored, creativity and innovation suffer, and the best and brightest begin to look for better and brighter places to strut their stuff.


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