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Are Employees Slackers? What Motivates Them?

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Happy employee

The nation’s unemployment rate continues to hover at an annoyingly high 8.6 percent. Does such a high rate of joblessness keep workers in their current position? Do they remain out of fear of not being able to find another job or do they stay out of loyalty to the company? According to recent research, the high rate of unemployment is not the deterrent to employee turnover. So what is preventing people from leaving their current positions in search of new ones or at least planning to do so in the future?

According to the research by the Taleo Corporation, most workers would leave their present position if they felt like they could, and nearly 50 percent report not feeling as engaged in their current work as they would like. The Taleo Corporation is a firm that produces software for human resource management.

Research reported on the Taleo Research blog has also looked at employee satisfaction and how this value affects employee turnover rates. The results show that many companies may soon see much of their talent leaving them, which will cost employers a lot of money in the long term. Estimates by Taleo show that if a company loses 500 workers during the present economic climate, the resulting costs of the turnovers could cost as much as $75 million.

Alternatively, to avoid such turnover costs, companies should invest their resources in finding ways to increase employee engagement. Engagement refers to the level of enthusiasm workers have for the work they do. Such efforts would allow companies to receive a big return on their initial investment. As the economy begins to recover, companies need to spend some of their resources on retaining their talent pool. These efforts could decrease the costs associated with employee turnover that many companies may experience following economic recovery.

Taleo also found other trends affecting employee engagement, including that employees are not particularly happy. Nearly half of the employees in big companies report not being engaged in the work they do, while only a third describe themselves as being fully engaged in their jobs. Eighteen percent of workers in the average company report they are “actively disengaged,” according to research at Taleo.

Secondly, Taleo’s research uncovered that employees are scared to leave their jobs. For the past several years, the number of people quitting their job has remained historically low according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The rate of people quitting their job has decreased approximately 40 percent compared to previous baseline numbers, indicating that even if workers want to leave their present position, they are not going anywhere right now.

According to recent surveys, eighty percent of employees would quit their job if possible, but for now have delayed doing so while waiting on improvement in the job market. However, a quarter of those surveyed have plans to leave their job at some point during the next year.

Are Employees Slackers? What Motivates Them? by
Authored by: Harrison Barnes