Aflac study sheds light on why employees leave and how employers can retain top talent.
COLUMBUS, Ga., June 6, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --Despite the uncertainty in the country's current employment situation, many American workers who identify themselves as top performers are thinking about changing jobs. In line with research showing the recent uptick of voluntary quits in the workplace, the 2012 Aflac WorkForces Report revealed nearly half of U.S. workers (49 percent) are at least somewhat likely to look for a job this year. More troubling for employers, a majority of those who say they are extremely or very likely to leave their jobs describe themselves as the kind of workers companies need to retain to remain competitive in a tight economy.
The findings, released today, are from a national study analyzing forces impacting the trends, attitudes and use of employee benefits. The 2012 Aflac WorkForces Report is an online survey of nearly 1,900 benefits decision-makers and more than 6,100 U.S. workers, conducted in January and February 2012 by Research Now and released by Aflac, the No. 1 provider of supplemental and guaranteed-renewable insurance in the United States.
The Aflac study found that those employees who are extremely or very likely to look for a new job in 2012 say the following qualities describe them fairly or extremely well:
- Hard worker - 90 percent
- High achiever at work - 79 percent
- Highly educated - 73 percent
- Ambitious; someone who strives to get ahead - 64 percent
Why Workers Would Consider Leaving
Benefits appear to be a factor in employees' assessment of whether an employer is taking care of them. The 2012 Aflac WorkForces Report revealed that 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. Employers risk losing workers to competitors if they don't offer flexible benefits plans that employees believe meet their needs.
"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. "Our study also sheds light on some of the reasons employees consider leaving and what employers can do to keep them."
Eighty-four percent of workers say benefits are at least somewhat important in the decision to leave a current employer, and 50 percent say they're very or extremely influential. Other factors that play a role in the decision to leave a current employer:
- 35 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.
What Can Employers Do?
"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.
According to Tillman, here are some best practices for maintaining a satisfied workforce:
- Assess your workforce 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.
Complimentary Article Download
To gain even more insight into why workers decide to leave their jobs and how employers can prevent increased turnover, click here to download Aflac's in-depth article that covers additional trends and recommended solutions.
To see the 2012 study results and learn more about how employers can help their employees protect themselves and their families against the unknown, visit AflacWorkForcesReport.com.
The Aflac WorkForces Report is an annual employee benefits study examining the forces impacting the trends, attitudes and utilization of employee benefits. Surveying both American workers and business decision-makers, the Aflac WorkForces Report reconciles the perceptions and realities of benefits in the workplace. The insights aim to help businesses make informed decisions about benefits to better protect their employees and their bottom line.
The 2012 Aflac WorkForces Report was conducted by Research Now on behalf of Aflac. The research contained two components of research among the U.S. workforce -- employer research and employee research.
The Employer Survey was conducted online within the United States between January 24, 2012, and February 7, 2012, among 1,876 benefits decision-makers. Results were representative of U.S. companies with at least three employees based on company size (number of employees) and industry. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated; a full methodology is available.
The Employee Survey was conducted online within the United States between February 7, 2012, and February 23, 2012, among 6,151 employed adults ages 18 and older who are employed full or part time at a company with three or more employees and not retired. The first 3,151 interviews were nationally representative while the remaining 3,000 interviews were conducted among the Top 30 designated market areas (DMAs) -- 100 interviews per DMA. Results were weighted as needed for household income. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated; a full methodology is available.
About Research Now
Research Now is the leading global online sampling and online data collection company. With over six million panelists in 38 countries worldwide, Research Now enables companies to listen to and interact with real consumers and business decision-makers to help them make key business decisions. Research Now offers a full suite of data collection services, including social media sampling, and operates the Valued Opinions(TM) Panel and e-Rewards® Opinion Panels. The company has a multilingual staff located in 24 offices around the globe and has been recognized for four consecutive years as the industry leader in client satisfaction. For more information, please visit researchnow.com.
When a policyholder gets sick or hurt, Aflac pays cash benefits fast. For more than 55 years, Aflac insurance policies have helped provide a safety net and give policyholders the opportunity to focus on recovery, not financial stress. In the United States, Aflac is the number one provider of guaranteed-renewable insurance. In Japan, Aflac is the number one life insurance company in terms of individual policies in force. Aflac insurance products provide protection to more than 50 million people worldwide. For six consecutive years, Aflac has been recognized by Ethisphere magazine as one of the World's Most Ethical Companies and by Forbes magazine as one of America's Best-Managed Companies in the Insurance category. In 2012, Fortune magazine recognized Aflac as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in America for the 14th consecutive year. Also, Fortune magazine included Aflac on its list of Most Admired Companies for the 11th time in 2012. Aflac Incorporated is a Fortune 500 company listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AFL. To find out more about Aflac, visit aflac.com or aflacenespanol.com.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Job Openings and Labor Turnover, February 2012.