Changing Employee Attitudes


Retention in 2014 has a different face than in 2013.
Retention in 2014 has a different face than in 2013.

The prevailing belief is that if you are a good leader and you keep your people “happy”, they will stay. Not only is that logical, but we also saw it that cause and effect playing out all over the world.  Unfortunately, that may no longer be the case.

According to the latest research from, significantly greater numbers of workers are planning to look for new employment this year, over last year. In fact, an incredible 83 percent of people polled said they are planning to look for a different job this year—a 6 percent increase from last year. Surely this news is disappointing for employers who want to retain their top talent, however it is not surprising, given the increasing pressures on employees. What is unexpected is that though intention to leave has increased, so did employee happiness.

Though last year, 69 percent of employees reported that they were unhappy in their current job, this year, only 46 percent voiced their dissatisfaction. So not only are more people are happier, but 28 percent of the people who are job hunting also claimed to be “happy”.

When survey participants were asked why they were looking to leave, the most popular response was “money”, however only 16 percent were looking for higher pay. Most interesting of all, the number of employees seeking higher pay actually decreased by 8 percent from last year. Moreover, only 29 percent indicated a salary raise would motivate them to stay. More astonishing, half of those who are looking to leave actually received a pay increase in the last year.

Looking at these results, waiting for employees to ask for a raise is clearly not going to contribute to retention. But what will? After you have handled the nearly one-third (29 percent) who are looking for raise, consider focusing on advancement and appreciation and providing more opportunities for training and development. We were surprised how to see how little flexible scheduling (only 5 percent) and looking only 10 percent would be impressed with better work-life balance.

Enlightened employers all over the globe will need to focus on “the experience” of being part of the organization and begin to embrace ways to make work more meaningful and fun.
Reprinted with permission From ‘The Herman Trend Alert, by Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist, 336.210.3548 or The Herman Trend Alert is a trademark of The Herman Group of Companies, Inc.

2 thoughts on “Changing Employee Attitudes”

  1. Michael, this new data makes me wonder if the situation has something to do with the recession. Those who had jobs in the past few years may have been over-worked as others were laid off. Now that the job market has opened more, perhaps they just want a change.

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