Are Employers Living in an Employees’ World?

If you’ve got talented and hardworking employees, hold onto them tight: A new report from Ceridian is the latest to show that the majority of employees in North America are very open to the possibility of switching jobs. The findings also suggest that all is not well even if they choose to stick around, with workers who say they’re unhappy in their jobs nevertheless planning to stay with their current employer for an average of 2.4 additional years.

Ceridian’s 2018 Pulse of Talent report is based on a survey of 2,001 U.S. and Canadian employees conducted by Nielsen. The survey queried workers about their views on loyalty, advancing their careers and satisfaction in the workplace. The results show that a sizable chunk of the workforce is open to new job opportunities: While 37 percent of respondents are either looking actively or casually, another 36 percent would still consider a new position if they were approached. Only 27 percent said they have no interest in a job outside their current employer.

What factor leads employees to consider quitting for a new opportunity? Big surprise: money. Respondents of all ages cited financial compensation as the top reason for leaving their last job, with 37 percent of respondents aged 18 to 34 and 24 percent of those age 50 and older citing it as a factor (when being able to select multiple factors). Money isn’t necessarily the tie that binds, however: When asked to select the single most-important factor that makes them stick with their current employer, more people cited that they love what they do, although salary, job security, benefits and work flexibility also made the top five.

Boredom in one’s job is a key signal that employees are ready to start looking: The survey finds that “a desire to tackle new challenges” drives 39 percent of respondents to look outside their current company, while 32 percent said leaving is necessary in order to advance their career. Employees said that, on average, two years is a reasonable time frame in which to receive a promotion.

Finally, a sense of purpose–what are this organization’s goals/values and how does my job help advance them–is crucial to job satisfaction, the survey finds. Among the respondents who said their company practices its stated values, 90 percent said they were satisfied with their job. In contrast, only 52 percent of those who said their company did not practice its stated values said they were satisfied. Meanwhile, a mere 51 percent said they feel their contributions have an impact on their organization’s business goals.

“Top talent won’t rest on their laurels,” says Lisa Sterling, Ceridian’s chief people and culture officer. “Companies that want to succeed in retaining their star employees need to paint a picture of how their contributions can and do make a difference.”


Andrew R. McIlvaine
Andrew R. McIlvaine is former senior editor with Human Resource Executive®.