Improved Job Market May Lead to Greater Employee Departures

by: Nichole Gunn March 11, 2011

As the economy shows signs of forward movement, employers need to place focus on employee retention.

The reason for this focus is that during a slow economy, employees don’t have many options, job opportunities are very limited; whether an employee likes his job or not, he is stuck. But, as the economy improves, so does the job market. This scenario provides job opportunities to dissatisfied employees, and in turn can lead to a jump in employee departures, including top talent.

Writing for Inc. Magazine, Josh Spiro discussed the possible reasons for the impending employee departures with Linda Argote, a professor of organizational behavior at Carnegie Mellon and editor-in-chief of Organization Science. Argote noted, “One of the major reasons is being dissatisfied with their supervisor." She went on to explain that in large organizations “there are more opportunities to move to other jobs if you're dissatisfied with a particular supervisor but like the firm.” This is not the case in smaller businesses.

Mark Murphy, author of The Deadly Sins of Employee Retention and CEO of Leadership IQ, an executive education firm, advises that two factors influence employee motivation, morale, and retention: employer strategies that “tug” employees toward motivation, and employer strategies that “shove,” or rub employees the wrong way, toward dissatisfaction.

While incentives and rewards programs are effective tools to enhance employee motivation, employers and managers need to look at the whole picture and determine what might be de-motivating employees.

An employer needs to know the pulse of his business and its employees. Creating comprehensive programs and strategies that fosters employee motivation, engagement, and satisfaction will serve well to enhance employee retention rates.


About Nichole Gunn

Nichole Gunn is the VP of Marketing at Incentive Solutions, an Atlanta-based incentive company that delivers advanced, agile B2B customer loyalty and channel sales incentives programs.