Some employment experts are starting to warn employers of the possibility of more of their workers leaving for better opportunities within the next 12 months. According to those experts, employees will begin job shopping in search of better pay and benefits as a result of a growing economy and more confidence in the future.
The annual Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement Survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) suggests that as many as 40% of America’s workers are already considering the possibility of job shopping over the next year. Some will find what they are looking for, the rest will stay put but with an eye on taking another look down the road. The numbers further suggest employers have a lot of work to do to retain their top talent.
According to the SHRM, the top three reasons for job shopping in 2017 are better pay, better benefits, and more job security. Survey respondents also cited career advancement opportunities. The Society says these are the same reasons most often cited in last year’s survey.
Environment Is Important, But…
We have heard a lot over the years about how creating a more positive work environment that encourages collaboration and rewards personal achievement is necessary if companies hope to retain staff. Such a positive work environment is important, but not nearly as important as an employee’s ability to pay the bills.
BenefitMall, a nationwide payroll and benefits administration provider, says that pay and benefits are especially important in the years immediately following an economic downturn. They say that when employees go long enough without significant raises or increases in benefits, those things suddenly become more important than the workplace environment.
People ultimately work because they have to. They work because the kids need food and clothing, the mortgage has to be paid, and health insurance is something they do not want to live without. So it stands to reason that employees would prefer better paying jobs with nicer benefits packages over working for a company that offers a break room fitted with pool tables, video games, and the latest French press coffee machine.
Reconsider Investment Priorities
With survey results showing how important better pay and benefits are to employees, companies planning to invest heavily in making the office more comfortable might want to reconsider their priorities. Perhaps 2017 is not the year to remodel the break room and add those extra perks. It might be better to take that money and put it into employee salaries and benefits.
As BenefitMall explains, it can take months to fill an open position with someone truly qualified for the job. Furthermore, recruiting and hiring can cost thousands of dollars per person. It just makes sense to save the time and money that would otherwise go into hiring by enhancing employee compensation and benefits packages.
Showing Employees Respect
In closing, there is one more statistic from the Employee Job Satisfaction survey worth noting: 65% of respondents indicated employee respect as being an important part of their job satisfaction. Showing respect can be taken any number of ways, but nothing is more respectful than paying employees what they are truly worth. A worker feeling underpaid is likely to believe he or she is also lacking employer respect.
The economy is improving and people have a more optimistic outlook on the future. This should lead to a greater number of workers job shopping this year and next in the hope of finding an opportunity with better pay and benefits. Employers should start making moves now to retain their staff.