When unemployment hovers between 9% and 10%, as it has for far too long now, some shall we say less-than-enlightened managers begin to think they can treat their employees as shabbily as they want. “What are they gonna do – quit? In THIS economy?”
Actually, yes, they will. In fact, according to a recent study conducted by LifeWork Search, a recruitment firm specializing in supply chain management, 70% of those polled had left their most recent employer during the first six months of this year. Of those who had left, 76% left on their own terms (i.e., they quit), and the remaining 24% were laid off.
If this trend continues throughout the remainder of 2011, LifeWork Search speculates that half of all current employees will leave on their own by the end of the year.
Admittedly, LifeWork Search's study is more anecdotal than anything else, being conducted through LinkedIn's poll feature. Even so, the search firm points to rarely publicized findings from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that close to 2 million Americans quit their jobs in May 2011. Furthermore, in a poll taken late last year by Right Management, an affiliate of Manpower Group, 84% of the 1,400 workers polled said they planned to look for another job in 2011.
What does this all mean? Why are so many people seeking greener pastures? According to Jason Breault, managing director of LifeWork Search, many employees are tired of feeling exploited. Yes, they're very much disillusioned with what's happening (or not happening) in Washington, but closer to home, they're unhappy with their boss and/or their job situation.
“This year we have seen candidates finally taking control of their growth potential, leveraging frustrations in their current roles and taking advantage of the opening job market,” Breault says. “Many employees feel they have hit a wall in their current roles, yet at the same time have been pushed harder, putting in longer hours, and taking on more responsibility without being properly compensated. Candidates are now running for the door, and not just for the pay, but for a better work life balance, the ability to be with a growing company and the ability to grow themselves.”
And keep this in mind, too: What does it say about a manager if his/her employees are actively looking for another job, even knowing full well how hard it's going to be to find one? And when the economy finally bounces back to full recovery mode, will the word have already gotten around that your company is a lousy place to work?
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