31 October 2005

52% of workers plan to quit within two years

According to a Communication Nation survey, chances are better than 50/50 that any employee will leave your company within the next two years.

We surveyed the readers of Communication Nation about the effectiveness of communication in their workplaces. Who are these readers? Hard to say, but according to a blogads survey,

75% of blog readers make more than $45,000 a year,
54% of their news consumption is online,
21% are themselves bloggers,
46% describe themselves as opinion makers,
79% are male, and
the most common job title given is Computer Professional.

In addition, the respondents to the Communication Nation survey are pretty hard workers (or at least they say they are). Sixty-eight percent either always or almost always meet their deadlines, and follow through on commitments.

So what did we learn?

Let's start with the good news:

People know what their job is. Seventy-one percent say that they clearly understand what their job is and what is expected of them.

They know where to go for help when they need it. Seventy-one percent say they know where to go if they need help or resources to do their jobs.

And now the bad:

Half of workers don't have performance metrics. It's a pretty even split between those who have performance goals that can be objectively measured (50%) and those who don't (49%). That means they don't have an objective way to know how well they are doing in their jobs.

A surprising number of people don't think their boss is in the loop. Sixty percent feel that their boss knows what's going on in their department, which sounds great until you realize that 40% feel otherwise. "Knowing what's going on" would seem to be a pretty low bar for a boss.

Most people don't know what their boss's job is. Sixty-five percent say they don't know how their boss's performance is measured or what the expectations are for their department or group. To me this is significant. If they don't know what's expected of you, how can they help?

Many don't know where they fit in the scheme of things. More that half (55%) say they can see a clear connection between their performance criteria and the company's overall mission and goals. But I can't help wondering what the other 45% see.

They don't have much to look foward to. Sixty-five percent don't know how they will be rewarded if they meet or beat their performance goals (That tells me that it's possible they may not be rewarded at all), and only 28% can see a clear career path at their company.

They're going to leave you. More than half (52%) do not plan to be working in their current job to years from now.


So where does your workplace fall in this spectrum? And if you're a boss, what are you going to do about it? Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Figure out what's important and start measuring it. It's the only way to measure progress. If you're not measuring anything, how do you know if you're getting better or worse?

Tell your team what your job is, and how it's measured. Ask them for their help in meeting your goals.

Give people something to look forward to. Plan to reward people for helping you meet your goals, and most importantly, tell what they must do to be rewarded. It doesn't always have to be financial. It can be a party, a day off, or you can promise to shave your head.

Plan to retain people in the long term. Work with your performers to design a career path that will keep them engaged for the forseeable future.

Talk to them. Let them know that what they think and feel is important to you. Ask good questions, listen, and keep your promises. Most problems can be solved with an open dialogue and a little creativity.

D-kriptik makes some excellent points in a link to this post:

"I have found these four beliefs can help to engender highly successful team members:

1. Be as transparent as possible (e.g., when people ask how the division is doing on meeting its goals, tell them, with metrics, and discuss)

2. Always (and visibly) put in the necessary (and often long) hours to efficiently and effectively produce high quality work that employees can refer to and customers praise (i.e., do as I do),

3. Mentor others, and build and encourage other mentors, in what it takes for 2. (e.g., answering questions, performing tutorials, and brainstorming), and

4. Build a genuine sense of pride in the work, customer satisfaction, and the resulting success (e.g., receiving a call or email from a customer that not just thanks you, but sings your praise, and being recognized by your peers and your bosses for it)."

Let me know how it goes -- and, as always, please post your comments and thoughts.

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Dina Lynch, ADRPracticeBuilder.com said...

Right on point, Dave. The most damaging conclusion I can draw is that people either don't know how or don't want to talk to each other.

Add 'Encourage dialogue' to your list. Winning companies know that providing the skills and opportunities for their employees to engage each other in discussion illuminates misunderstandings, increases collaboration and leads to innovation. (You know- the meaninful work employees say is satisfying to them)

It all comes down to talking. People leave people, not jobs.

Thanks for the informative blog.

Dina Beach Lynch, CEO

Unknown said...


Unknown said...

i agree with many of the results@@
i was personally trying to conduct a surveyon information flow myself