Despite the uncertainty in the country’s current employment situation, many American workers who identify themselves as top performers are thinking about changing jobs. Research in the 2012 Aflac WorkForces Report, revealed nearly half of U.S. workers (49 percent) report they are somewhat likely to look for a job this year.
More troubling for employers, a majority of those who say they are extremely or very likely to leave their jobs describe themselves as the type of workers companies need to retain to remain competitive in a tight economy.
These findings are from a national study analyzing forces impacting the trends, attitudes, and use of employee benefits. The 2012 Aflac WorkForces Report is an online survey of nearly 1,900 benefits decisionmakers and more than 6,100 U.S. workers, conducted in January and February 2012 by Research Now and released by Aflac, provider of supplemental and guaranteed-renewable insurance in the United States.
The Aflac study found that those employees who are extremely or very likely to look for a new job in 2012 say the following qualities describe them fairly or extremely well:
- Hard worker—90 percent
- High achiever at work—79 percent
- Highly educated—73 percent
- Ambitious—someone who strives to get ahead—64 percent
Why workers would consider leaving
Benefits appear to be a factor in employees'; assessment of whether an employer is taking care of them. The 2012 Aflac WorkForces Report revealed that workers who are extremely or very satisfied with their benefits program are 9 times more likely to stay with their employer than those workers who are dissatisfied with their benefits program.
In fact, 76 percent of employees believe they would be somewhat likely to accept a job with a more robust benefits package but lower compensation. Employers risk losing workers to competitors if they don't offer flexible benefits plans that employees believe meet their needs.
"Employers should be concerned that after several years of recession and a very slow recovery, their top talent has a pent-up desire to leave for what they believe to be greener pastures," said Audrey Boone
Tillman, executive vice president of Corporate Services at Aflac. "Our study also sheds light on some of the reasons employees consider leaving and what employers can do to keep them."
What employers can do
“It’s been an employer-driven market for a number of years and businesses watching their bottom lines may not have taken care of employee as well as they did before the recession. However, demonstrating they care and showing appreciation in ways that are meaningful to their employees are the most important actions company leaders and HR executives can take to prevent their best workers from walking out the door,” said Tillman.
Tillman offers these best practices for maintaining a satisfied workforce:
To gain even more insight into why workers decide to leave their jobs and how employers can prevent increased turnover, Aflac has made available for download an in-depth article that covers additional trends and recommended solutions.
- Assess your workforce often to hear whats on their minds and what important to them.
- Regularly recognize employees efforts.
- Create programs and tailor benefits to address your employees' current needs.
- Communicate often about benefits to drive participation and demonstrate that you support employees and their families.