At 8.6 percent, the nation's unemployment rate remains stubbornly high. But the lack of jobs isn't keeping some workers from quitting their jobs in search of new ones -- or at least planning for eventual departure from their current employers.
Recent surveys have found that most employees would leave their current job if they could, and a near majority say that they're not engaged in their current work, according to findings by Taleo Corp., a maker of human-resource management software.
The data, along with other key figures on employee sentiment outlined in recent Taleo Research blog posts, suggest that many companies may soon see a hemorrhage of talent -- and that can cost employers big money.
Companies that lose 500 employees amid the current economic recovery may face turnover costs of $75 million, Taleo estimates.
If, however, employers were to invest in programs and resources to boost employee engagement -- the amount of enthusiasm and interest workers bring to the job -- companies could avoid such costs and see an exponential return on the investment.
"The investment companies make today in retaining their best talent will directly impact the cost of dysfunctional turnover once the economy recovers," says David Wilkins, vice president of research at Taleo.
In reviewing its research, Taleo noted the following trends in employee engagement:
- Employees aren't happy. A Gallup poll found that at the average big firm only 33 percent of employees describe themselves as fully engaged in their work, while 49 percent say they aren't engaged and 18 percent say they are "actively disengaged."
- Employees are afraid to leave. The U.S. Department of Labor shows historically low quit rates for the last few years. Quit rates are down by roughly 40 percent versus baseline numbers, which indicates that employees who want to leave their current job aren't yet leaving.
- It's only a matter of time. Recent surveys suggest that 4 out of 5 employees would leave their current job if they could, but are waiting until the job market improves, and 25 percent are planning to leave their job within a year.
For more about employee engagement and how it affects both workers and employers, check out the infographic below from Rypple, also a supplier of human-resource management software.
Note: Any discrepancy in data shown in Rypple's infographic compared to Taleo's findings is the result of surveys of different populations of workers, though findings are similar.
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