Half of employees ready to ditch employer

50 percent of workers say employee benefits are very or extremely influential on decision to leave


June 6, 2012

Unemployment numbers don’t faze workers who say they’re ready to find another job and that benefits are likely to be a factor in their decision.

According to findings released Wednesday from the 2012 Aflac Workforces Report, 49 percent of workers are at least somewhat likely to look for a job this year.

Employers may lose valuable productivity in the process. The report shows most of the workers likely to leave describe themselves as top talent — the kind of workers companies need in order to remain competitive in a tight economy.

“Employers should be concerned that after several years of recession and a very slow recovery, their top talent has a pent-up desire to leave for what they believe to be greener pastures,” said Audrey Boone Tillman, executive vice president of Corporate Services at Aflac in a statement.

Those greener pastures may be companies that can offer a better benefits package, according to the study. Workers who are extremely or very satisfied with their benefits program are nine times more likely to stay with their employer than those workers who are dissatisfied with their benefits program. In fact, 76 percent of employees believe they’d be at least somewhat likely to accept a job with a more robust benefits package but lower compensation.

“It’s been an employer-driven market for a number of years and businesses watching their bottom lines may not have taken care of employees as well as they did before the recession. However, demonstrating they care and showing appreciation in ways that are meaningful to their employees are the most important actions company leaders and HR executives can take to prevent their best workers from walking out the door,” said Tillman.

What can employers do?

Tillman suggests three best practices for maintaining a satisfied work force:

  • Assess your work force often to hear what’s on their minds and what’s important to them.
  • Regularly recognize employees’ efforts.
  • Create programs and tailor benefits to address your employees’ current needs.
  • Communicate often about benefits to drive participation and demonstrate that you support employees and their families.

Other factors that play a role in the decision to leave a current employer:

  • Thirty-five percent of workers who don’t believe their company has a reputation as a great place to work say they are extremely likely to leave in the next 12 months.
  • One-third of workers who don’t believe retaining employees is an important priority for their employer say they are likely to leave.
  • Workers who said they are stressed out are nearly twice as likely (43 percent vs. 25 percent) to leave their job compared to workers who are not stressed. Another 28 percent of employees who are extremely likely to leave their job in the next 12 months say they don’t have peace of mind.