More than four in 10 workers (42 percent) in a new survey said they’re likely to look for a new job within the next year, and the reasons given are the things you’ve heard a million times before. 

Unchallenged? Yup.

Bored? Yup.

Overworked?  Of course.

Unrecognized? Absolutely.

Right. Where do we begin?

Why is everyone unhappy in an engagement survey? 

It seems madness that surveys are still showing that people are likely to leave for the same old reasons. Of course, surveys bring out the polar opposites in people -both  the do gooders and ‘delighted to be there’s’ and the employees who want to actually kick their boss in the face, but still – it’s hard to see the same thing again come up in a survey. Is there a large, cavernous gap between the theory of engaging employees and the articles and best practice and the gifts and the incentives and the perks – and the actual reality?

(The reasons included: Limited opportunities for career growth or advancement,Inadequate salary and benefits, Bored with job
Unhappiness with management, Overworked, lack of recognition and the survey was undertaken by global staffing firm Robert Half)

All businesses need to be practitioners of engagement 

When surveys come out that show places of work still aren’t getting it – it makes us think that it’s time everyone in every business goes back to basics. We’ve seen amazing studies and talks about the correlation between GDP and engagement. We all know in our hearts that we work harder for the carrot – not the stick. Who are these companies who are still getting it wrong? Are they stuck in the stone age? OR are we now into the second round of reward and engagement – Reward 2.0 -where what worked before is now your standard company baseline? Before, you needed to work closely with employees who report to you to ensure that the are passionate, and if not passionate, then at least challenged.  Now, does everyone need a constantly changing strategy and a dedicated resource for rewards and engagement? Is your L&D function more important now than ever?

The stat the ‘millennial is ready to jump!’ is not news.

By the way, we love the survey and think that all data is great data. We aren’t looking a survey-horse in the mouth and this is certainly not any ‘shade’ on Robert Half. We love Robert Half!  But the stat that  “For respondents ages 18 to 34, the number likely to seek new employment in the next 12 months jumps to 68 percent” isn’t that striking to us. Perhaps because it seems obvious that today’s employees in that age bracket aren’t going to take shoddy environments and workplaces that are dull and fusty. We spend more than a third of our days working, getting ready for work, and commuting. It seems really clear that, if  upon arrival the tasks are about as thrilling as watching paint dry in your nanna’s house and your boss is a pain, that you are going to want to leave. Especially if your buddy works for Google, or Virgin, or Buzzfeed, or Social Chain or one of the many other companies who fall over themselves to attract and retain talent.

We need to know more about where rewards and incentives are going 

We need to know more about what each business is doing so we can get a feel for not only ourselves and our own circumstances, but business as whole ecosystem for the country. What is actually happening on masse? What is the retention challenge for most people? Is there still a big gaping hole in understanding why a good employee might want to leave or do we all really know and are just sticking our fingers in our ears and saying ‘la la la?’

Do people understand the damaging effects of Glassdoor, or a really rubbish recruitment process, or a sub par reward that leaves a bad taste?

And flicking back to the survey, who are the businesses who are still thinking they can attract and retain people with a sub par salary and a poor benefits package?  The Robert Half survey has showed that the number-one reason CFO’s  think good employees would resign is limited growth potential. Is that a true reflection of what will happen?

It’s never been such an interesting time to be in any way connected to HR, rewards, and incentives. The study highlights that we are on a journey that can have a huge impact in how we work, but do we have the map of where we really are right now?

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