Despite Job Satisfaction, Workers Looking to Move On

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By Genevieve Douglas

Sept. 30 — Employees who are happy in their current job and with their employer still may be looking to move on to new opportunities, according to research released Sept. 29 by Mercer.

The global consulting firm's latest “Inside Employees’ Minds” report found that 45 percent of employees who say they are “very satisfied” with their organization and 42 percent who feel that way about their job are looking to leave their current employer.

It also found that over one-third (37 percent) of all workers—regardless of their satisfaction level—are seriously considering leaving their jobs, up from 33 percent in 2011.

“Traditionally, we have thought that employees who are engaged and happy and productive will be loyal to their organizations, but that is starting to change,” Patrick Tomlinson, North American business leader for talent at Mercer,told Bloomberg BNA Sept. 30.

Even though organizations are doing all the right things, such as working on development programs, providing professional growth and paying their workers well, employees are still leaving, he said.

Moreover, Tomlinson said, the survey found that twice as many senior managers (63 percent) are seriously considering leaving their current jobs, compared to 39 percent of management-level employees and 32 percent of non-managementworkers.

“The perception is that these employees [considering leaving] are millennials,” Tomlinson said, “but in reality those most at risk of leaving are senior managers, and that has the biggest, broadest impact across organizations.”

The research is based on responses collected from an online survey of 3,010 U.S. employees working full-time or part-time at for-profit organizations.

New Strategies Needed to Keep Talent

“Simply put, a growing number of employees feel their desires for personal growth and opportunities are outpacing what most companies are providing them,” Tomlinson said.

Tomlinson recommended that HR recognize that the most engaged employees will not stay with a company forever, so it's important to find a way to engage them while they are still there. He also said employers should give such workersopportunities to return to the organization. “You have to figure out how to benefit from this more mobile mind set,”Tomlinson said.

“The future of successful work relationships between employer and employee will depend on the trifecta of health, wealth and career—and how you make them all flexible to reflect the way people want to work today and what they are lookingfor in the employment relationship,” he said.