Just One Reason Why Leaders Must Engage Employees

by Bob Kantor

A recent article at Bloomberg.com reports that, “About one-third of U.S. workers are considering leaving their jobs, with younger workers most likely to quit…”

We all know the value of actively managing retention, and also know many of the levers we can pull to keep our talent. However, we sometimes underestimate the importance that leadership engagement plays in retaining our top talent, and especially our younger staff.

The Bloomberg article goes on to state that, “They feel less attached to the organization emotionally and psychologically, and they don’t necessarily believe that the organization they work for has their best interests in mind…”

What better way to increase attachment and enhance perception of interest than to fully engage our team members with our day to day interactions? Two quick tips that I share with my coaching clients is to ask more questions and to be fully present when listening to the answers.

Questions by their very nature are more engaging than statements. That’s just how our brains are wired. Many of my clients see the motivation, enthusiasm and commitment of their staff members rise significantly when they begin to ask more questions during their conversations.

While it seems obvious to be fully present when listening to others, how often do we find our attention wandering during such conversations, in spite of our good intentions? It sometimes takes more diligence than we’d like it to.

You can see the original article at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-06-20/one-in-3-workers-wants-to-leave-job-mercer.html which is reprinted, in part, below.

 

Regards, Bob

One in Three U.S. Workers Wants to Leave Job, Mercer Survey Says

By Devin Banerjee – Jun 20, 2011 3:34 PM ET

About one-third of U.S. workers are considering leaving their jobs, with younger workers most likely to quit, according to human-resources consultant Mercer LLC.

A survey of 2,400 workers found 32 percent are “seriously considering” leaving his or her organization, up from 23 percent in 2005. Another 21 percent said they view their employers unfavorably and don’t feel engaged at work, though they don’t want to leave, according to a statement today.

Dissatisfaction is growing as workers think they are getting less out of their employment. Workers satisfied with base pay dropped to 53 percent from 58 percent in 2005, according to Mercer. Sixty-eight percent of employees rate their overall benefits as good or very good, down from 76 percent.

“They feel less attached to the organization emotionally and psychologically, and they don’t necessarily believe that the organization they work for has their best interests in mind,” said Jason Jeffay, a senior partner at Mercer.

Among employees 25 to 34 years old, 40 percent are contemplating leaving their jobs. Among employees 24 and younger, the figure is 44 percent, Mercer said.

Depressed housing prices and underwater mortgages mean older workers, who are more likely to own a home, are less mobile than they once were, Jeffay said. This means they are less able to seek out jobs and pursue the most satisfying one.

Young Americans

“Their ability to relocate, which has traditionally been a strength of the American labor market, is no longer a factor,” Jeffay said in an interview.

Young U.S. workers tend to be more optimistic about opportunities outside of their current employer, according to Stacey Randall, chief consultant at the Charlotte, North Carolina-based SBR Consulting LLC. A recent SBR study found that 70 percent of workers 21 to 30 years old said there is a possibility they will change jobs once the economy improves.

“They have bills to think about, but they are more mobile than other demographics,” Randall said. “They’ve been riding out the recession and recovery, like everybody else.”

 

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