Nearly six out of 10 U.S. workers plan to remain in their jobs, a key sign of a strengthening economy, according to a new report from Stamford-based IT consulting and research firm Gartner.
Among the majority of U.S. employees who plan to continue in their roles, about 46 percent of U.S. employees said in the first quarter of this year they had a “high intent” to stay put, compared with an international average of about 32 percent. But Gartner officials cautioned that managers and executives should still focus on implementing additional practices to prevent their talent from going elsewhere.
“As the economy continues to grow and companies produce higher profits, employees will expect more opportunities to be promoted, attain higher wages and achieve more rewards,” Brian Kropp, group vice president of Gartner’s HR practice, said in a statement.
Correlating with the retention rates, Gartner’s business confidence index, which measures employees’ confidence in near-term business conditions and long-term economic prospects in their industries, registered at the highest levels in five years.
Gartner data come from quarterly surveys of more than 22,000 employees in 40 countries.
Other data, however, suggest the robust economy is spurring turnover. Some 3.4 million quit their jobs in April, close to a 2001 record, according to U.S. Labor Department data.
With the U.S. unemployment rate running last month at 4 percent — a slight uptick from an 18-year low of 3.8 percent in May — companies face more competition to recruit and retain employees.
Gartner survey respondents in the U.S. and worldwide ranked compensation as the top “attraction driver” when evaluating new jobs and also the leading source of dissatisfaction with previous positions.
Companies with strong “employee value propositions” — which cover opportunities and rewards for employees — can go deeper into the labor market to attract candidates who may not be looking for work, make more hires and decrease turnover rates.
“A company’s EVP illustrates its culture and core attributes to the labor market and employees,” Kropp said. “It’s critical for leaders to clearly define the returns available through their organization, whether it’s career advancement, quality of managers and coworkers, or competitive compensation and benefits.”
Many of the takeaways from the Gartner findings would ostensibly apply to Connecticut-based employers, too. In May, the state unemployment rate ran at 4.5 percent, unchanged from April and down slightly from the 4.7 percent level a year ago.
“I think employers need to view their employees as valuable and they need to put retention programs in place; human capital matters,” said Lisa Mainiero, a professor of management at Fairfield University. “Gartner has the right approach — culture aids retention, and employees need to find meaning in their work.”
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