Are you starting to worry about an increase in employees leaving your organization for greener pastures? A report just released by the DOL might heighten your concern.
The number of American workers voluntarily quitting their jobs hit a nine-year high in December, according to the DOL’s monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS).
What’s more, job openings rose by 261,000 to a seasonally adjusted 5.61 million in December, the DOL said. That’s the second highest reading since the agency started to chart those numbers in 2001.
Certainly, increased job openings is a good sign for the overall economy. But that quit rate rise should raise some eyebrows. Here’s what the JOLT report says:
There were 3.1 million quits in December, up from November. The number of quits is now higher than in December 2007 (2.8 million), the first month of the recession. The quits rate was 2.1 percent in December 2015. The number of quits rose for total private and government over the month.
Quits rose in state and local government (+20,000) but fell in nondurable goods manufacturing (-25,000). Quits increased in the South region over the month.
The number of quits (not seasonally adjusted) increased over the 12 months ending in December for total nonfarm, total private, and government. Quits increased over the year in several industries with the largest changes occurring in professional and business services (+102,000), accommodation and food services (+68,000), and retail trade (+58,000). In the regions, quits rose in the South and Midwest.
The reasons they’re leaving
And why are they quitting? Somewhat surprisingly, it’s not compensation.
Recently, we ran a post and infographic based on research from BambooHR, which identified several factors:
The No. 1 reason employees say they left a previous job is a lack of opportunities for advancement.
More than one in five employees (22%) polled by Bamboo cited that as a reason for resigning in the past.
Coming in second and third, respectively:
- A lack of work-life balance.
Bamboo polled 1,034 U.S. workers over the age of 18 to find out why they’d left a previous job, and to have them rate the most annoying aspects of work in general.
The biggest deal breakers
Employees could rank work traits on the following scale:
- 1 = acceptable
- 2 = somewhat acceptable
- 3 = annoying
- 4 = considerably annoying
- 5 = deal breaker
Deal breakers are aspects of a job that would make employees head for the exits.
The top five deal breakers identified in the survey:
- The boss doesn’t trust or empower you (one in four rated this a deal breaker).
- Being expected to work or answer emails on sick days, vacations and/or after work (one in four).
- Management that “passes the buck” when things don’t go as planned (one in five).
- Work not being flexible with regard to family responsibilities (one in five).
- Not getting along with co-workers (1 in 6).
(Note: Being expected to work or answer emails while out of the office was a somewhat polarizing aspect of work, with more than one in six respondents ranking it as acceptable.)
Annoyances but not quite deal breakers
Here are employees’ four biggest annoyances that don’t quite make it to the level of deal breaker:
- Management being less aware of the industry than you or your team are.
- A lack of recognition for a job well done.
- Co-workers being promoted faster than you.
- Subpar benefits.
How’s your company doing in these areas?