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Why your best employees are leaving you

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What does it take to keep your best employees in the company? Salary? Paid time off? Sure, but the latest Randstad research suggests that the employees’ personal experiences may play a bigger part than many managers may think.

The human resources consulting firm asked Research Now to conduct a survey on 763 respondents of different ages, genders and regions, finding out why workers choose to stay with or leave their current job.

The findings revealed that employees care about their experiences in the company as much as the practical elements of the job. “The intangible benefits and day-to-day experiences at work have risen in importance. If the full spectrum of values – emotional, financial and lifestyle – aren’t being met, workers will easily find opportunities elsewhere,” said Jim Link, chief human resources officer of Randstad North America.

Modern workers are expecting greater control over their lives, and with the rise of gig economy, more office workers are willing to jump on board for a more balanced life:

• 46% are considering leaving their jobs within the next year to join the gig economy.• 82% expect pay raises every year to stay with their current employers.• 63% wouldn’t consider job opportunities that offer fewer than 15 paid vacation days annually.• 36% are considering leaving their current jobs because they don’t have the ability to work remotely.

As mentioned, personal relationships and respect carry important weight from the employee’s perspective. They might not say anything, but they probably see everything:

• 59% feel their companies view profits or revenues as more important than how people are treated.• 60% have left jobs, or are considering leaving, because they don't like their direct supervisors.• 53% percent have left jobs, or considered leaving, because they believe their employers don’t recruit or retain high-performing individuals.

Company culture and work environment make up a large part of employee experience. As you may have guessed, office politics drives away some of your most productive workers.

• 38% of workers want to leave their jobs due to a toxic work culture or one where they don’t feel they fit in.• 58% have left jobs, or are considering leaving, because of negative office politics.• 46% say their teams/departments are understaffed, so they are seeking or considering employment elsewhere.• Most (86%) would not apply for or continue to work for a company that has a bad reputation with former employees or the general public.• 65% would likely leave if their employers were being negatively portrayed in the news or on social media because of a crisis or negative business practices.

Other negative personal experiences were often related to poor workplace culture according to the research and could be rectified with better leadership.

Besides personal experiences, career advancement is another aspect that employees consider:

• 58% agree their companies don’t currently have enough growth opportunities for them to stay longer term.• 69% would be more satisfied if their employers better utilised their skills and abilities.• 57% say they need to leave their current companies in order to take their careers to the next level.

Even when an employee stays, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are happy with the job, suggested by the findings:

• 54% of employees, regardless of gender, feel pressure to stay at jobs they don't enjoy because they are the primary financial providers for their families.• 71% admit they stay in their current jobs because it’s easier than starting something new.• 78% say their benefits packages are as important as their salaries in keeping them at their current employers.• 56% don’t seek out or consider other job opportunities because they’d have to start with less paid time off.

ALSO READ: The 7 reasons employees are looking to quit their jobs this year

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