Employers had best be on their game in 2017, or they’re liable to have trouble hanging on to good employees.
That’s the advice from CareerBuilder, which found in its latest survey of employees that workers are planning all sorts of changes for the New Year—some of which could involve a change in employment.
In an economy that’s better but not for everyone, people are stressed, financially strapped and even feeling trapped—all situations that are ideal targets for resolutions and fresh starts.
In its annual survey of workers, conducted by Harris Poll, CareerBuilder found that employees are making resolutions about all sorts of things—many of which could cost an employer the time and trouble to find and train a new employee if pay, benefits and perks aren’t in line with what employees are after.
And the younger the employee, the greater that risk.
Money plays a big role in many of these resolutions—particularly for those squeezed by little to no retirement savings, student loan debt and elderly parents to care for—but it’s by no means the only motivation. And if employers aren’t going to find themselves calling recruiters and agencies, they need to be aware of as many of those motivations as possible.’
“Whether it’s unemployed people trying to find their way back to the workforce or those who are currently employed attempting an upgrade to greener pastures, a new year makes many people set their sights on job hunting,” Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer for CareerBuilder, said in a statement.
Haefner added, “To keep your top workers, you need to keep a pulse on what they’re seeking. For example, poll your employees from time to time to learn more about their goals and motivations and how they want to be treated.”
And don’t think that just because they have a job they aren’t looking. Among respondents, 35% of workers said they’re regularly searching for new job opportunities, even though they’re currently employed. And that’s up from last year’s 34%.
While some employees are looking for perks that would tempt them either to stay or to join a new company, others are focused on factors that they believe are even more important than money. Last year job stability was at the top of the list for 65% of respondents; that was followed by affordable benefits, at 59%; location, 56%; a good boss, 51%; and a good work culture, 46%.
Here are the top 10 resolutions employees are making for 2017 that employers should consider.
10. Daily catered lunches.
Okay, so this one’s not likely for most companies to consider, nor is it very high on the “resolutions” list.
But considering that 22% of employees said this, maybe it’s time to consider whether the company cafeteria might be ready for a revamp—or whether there might be something else the employer can do to improve the food situation—particularly since dietary concerns are a part of overall employee wellness.
9. Being able to wear jeans.
Another “resolution” that’s probably more about a reasonable and relaxed atmosphere than actually favoring denim, this was a perk that would tempt 23% of respondents.
How buttoned-up is your company’s culture, and is this something you might want to change?
8. On-site fitness center.
Another facet of employee wellness that would be tempting to 27% of respondents, it might be an indication that employers need to pay more attention to the potential attraction of gym memberships, if not actual on-site facilities.
7. Half-day Fridays.
This is a big attraction for 40% of respondents, but perhaps they could be tempted by flexible hours or the option to work from home.
6. Learning something new (courses, training, seminars).
Last year, learning was just a big deal for 17% of respondents—but as an actual resolution, this year it was important for 26% this year.
Companies that fail to provide chances for growth via education opportunities will likely find themselves looking for new employees to replace those who had bigger ambitions than the companies could meet.
5. Eat healthier at work.
While this could tie in with the perk in number 10, it’s a worthy goal—and a resolution employers should support, since healthier employees are more productive and happier.
Especially since it’s more important this year (to 28% of respondents) than it was last year (to just 19%).
4. Get a raise or promotion.
If people aren’t actually seeking a new job, the next best thing is a raise or a promotion that will help them financially or recognize their level of accomplishment.
It’s more important to people this year than it was last year, too; in 2015 just 26% were resolved to advance themselves either financially or in position, while this year 30% are aiming for a step up in the next year.
3. Be less stressed.
In 2015, 28% of respondents said they were resolved to be less stressed in 2016; this year, that’s climbed to 38% of employees shooting for less stress in 2017. But in 2014, 34% wanted to de-stress.
The numbers are going the wrong way (or the right way, depending on how one looks at it); either people are more stressed now than they were last year or they’ve come to a breaking point and are resolved to do something about it.
Perhaps a greater emphasis on wellness programs—financial and otherwise—might be a wise consideration for employers as they review benefits packages.
2. Save more pay.
The number of people determined to hold onto more of their pay is considerably greater this year than last—49% want to hang on to more money in 2017, compared with just 38% last year who had intended to do so during 2016.
Ironically, that 38% last year had actually fallen from the year before, when 42% of workers had resolved to save more of their pay in 2015.
With this resolution rising higher for so many, it makes sense that many people would be looking for a new job, since it’s easier to save more if one makes more. And with so many people trying to save for retirement but just not able to squeeze enough out of the weekly paycheck to do so, it’s logical that they’d start looking elsewhere for a salary that will let them have some wiggle room.
In fact, a new survey from WorkSphere found that 56% cited higher pay as their chief motivation to move.
1. Find a new job.
Twenty-two percent of employees are resolved to find a new job in 2017, according to CareerBuilder’s survey. While that’s similar to last year’s results (21 percent), younger workers are even more determined, with 35% of those aged 18–34 determined to look for greener pastures. And that’s up from just 30% last year.
Whatever it is that employers are doing, they might want to consider some changes—because that WorkSphere survey is even more alarming: 62% plan on making some type of career change in the next 12 months, either with a new employer or their current one. (That includes new career paths at their present workplace, training in a new skill or a boost in performance.)
Oh, and then there’s that pay thing…