Are Employees Happy in Their Current Job?

One half of existing employees will consider looking for a new job if the economy improves according to theFourth Quarter 2012 Glassdoor Employment Confidence Survey. This may prompt employers to take a look at their retention efforts. Employees don’t search for new job opportunities merely when they are unhappy. Many people are constantly evaluating their options in an effort to improve their job situation and to advance their career.

According to the survey, forty percent of all employees expect to get a pay raise in the next 12 months which means that most employees either don’t expect a raise or just don’t know.

Employee expectations of re-hire are about 41%. Of course, currently employed people typically stand a better chance of being hired than do unemployed individuals. Unemployed individuals surveyed had a slightly lower (37%) expectation of being hired in the first quarter of 2013.

What Should Employers Do to Increase Employee Satisfaction and Retention?

There are several positive actions employers can take to improve retention including

1. Award non-compensation perks such as

  • Option for employees to work remotely
  • Casual dress codes
  • Flexible work hours

2. Other compensation options such as:

  • Restore previously eliminated benefits like 401k matching, health and dental
  • Stock awards
  • Salary increases that consider recession year omissions

In addition to retention programs, companies can put recruiting and hiring programs in place to prepare for business needs. Establishing relationships with vendors such asOvationTaleo, and direct recruiting firms like Robert Half can provide a candidate pool that can be tapped at a moment’s notice.  Having job posts constantly running can cast a wide net to improve the quality of a company’s workforce.  “Top performers are instrumental in helping organizations grow,” Phil Sheridan, managing director, Robert Half UK, said in a news release“However, it is all too common for companies to wait until they receive resignations in order to enhance their retention efforts, but by then it is often too late to keep those key staff.”

What Signs Might Indicate that a Valued Employee May Quit?

In the environment described, key employees may look for greener pastures. According to Robert Half, an international recruiting firm, these are some major signs that current employees might be looking for other opportunities:

  • A change in attitude in the employee while performing their job
  • Long lunch breaks or frequent absences
  • The employee is dressing in more professional attire
  • The employee is exhibiting a noticeable drop in productivity

If an employer suspects a valued employee might quit, they should consider meeting with the employee and asking them if they are looking and emphasize the value that they represent to the company. Often, employees feel under-appreciated and need reinforcement. Even offering an incentive to stay is appropriate as this is not a time to resent an employee’s loyalty to the firm.

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