This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

February 6, 2008

The Natives are Restless... Again

A global survey of 4,500 workers indicates that more people anticipate leaving their employers this year than last. In the 2006 BlessingWhite study, 65 percent said that they expected to "definitely" remain with their employers through the year. In the 2007 study, that number was down to 58 percent.

Also of interest, more respondents in 2007 said that there is "no way" they would stay (eight percent up from six percent---a 33 percent increase). European employers face the greatest threat: eleven percent said there is "no way" they will stay.

Moreover, employees in Europe and Asia appear less content with their current jobs than those in the United States or Canada. Only 49 percent of Europeans and 54 percent of employees in the Asia-Pacific region expect to stay with their employers, compared with 60 percent of North Americans. (We think that market volatility and the threat of recession was working here.)

Based in Princeton, NJ, global consultants BlessingWhite studied employees on four continents in December 2007 and January 2008. According to Christopher Rice, CEO of BlessingWhite, "They [the findings] may mean more people are taking control over their destiny and plan to do more to manage their career[s]."

We have been talking for years about employees' lack of trust for their employers. This trust issue motivates them to feel like they must take control of their own careers. Our research indicates that workers are looking to their employers for training, education, and career pathing. This fact should concern the many organizations that eliminated their in-house training functions during the last economic slowdown and are still playing "catch up".

Rice further cautions. "We find that top performers are the same worldwide. The best workers tend to be mobile in any economic situation. . . If management doesn't provide employees with the opportunity to make a difference for the enterprise, engage in work that's interesting or worthwhile, and pursue their personal development, these same individuals are going to take their knowledge and skills elsewhere."

This study is more evidence that employee retention is a critical, global issue. Employers that choose to ignore this growing threat do so at their peril.

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