How Many of Your Employees Will Be Checking Out Early?
By Roberta Chinsky Matuson President, Matuson Consulting | June 01, 2011
Another day, another survey. Yet employers are still in denial. This just in. Employees have their bags packed and are ready to check out the moment a better offer comes along. MetLife's 9th Annual Study of Employee Benefit Trends is one of the big, well-known and highly regarded benchmark surveys. The issue of employee retention and the disconnect between employee and employer is so compelling, that MetLife chose to begin the executive summary of their benefits survey with the following statement:
"The 9th Annual Study of Employee Benefits Trends delivers a clear message to employers: Reprioritize employee loyalty and satisfaction, or economic recovery may arrive with unanticipated setbacks for retention and productivity."
This year's findings reveal a workforce that has grown more dissatisfied and disloyal, to the point where one in three employees hopes to be working elsewhere in the next 12 months. Yet employers go about their daily lives as if nothing has changed. This is particularly troublesome in industries like hospitality, where increased turnover can cause small profit margins to disappear overnight.
Many organizations continue to focus on the challenging economic climate and assume employees will stay because they are happy to have a job. In some cases, that may be. However, it's important not to confuse "happy to have a job" with "happy to be in one's job". A loyal and engaged workforce is the foundation of business growth and keeps customers returning. Should this foundation crumble, employers will be left to pick up the pieces of an organization that will see their guests taking their business across the street.
Employees are talking, but is anyone listening? The MetLife survey is about benefit trends, but the biggest trend of all is the huge disconnect between employers and their workforce. The results of the survey indicate that employee loyalty has been slipping - from 59 percent who said they have "a very strong sense of loyalty to their employer" in 2008 down to 47 percent in 2010. In addition, the percentage of employees who say that "their company has a very strong sense of loyalty to them" has also declined from 41 percent three years ago to only 33 percent last year. As troubling is the fact that the survey shows that employers are clueless of this drop in employee loyalty. The percentage of employers who say that "employees have a strong sense of loyalty to the company" has gone up a bit since 2008 - from 50 to 51 percent.
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