Monthly Archives: May 2016

The Reason of People Quit Their Jobs

Some of this analytical work is generating fresh insights about what impels employees to quit. In general, people leave their jobs because they don’t like their boss, don’t see opportunities for promotion or growth, or are offered a better gig (and often higher pay); these reasons have held steady for years. New research conducted by CEB, a Washington-based best-practice insight and technology company, looks not just at why workers quit but also at when. “We’ve learned that what really affects people is their sense of how they’re doing compared with other people in their peer group, or with where they thought they would be at a certain point in life,” says Brian Kropp, who heads CEB’s HR practice. “We’ve learned to focus on moments that allow people to make these comparisons.”

Some of the discoveries are unsurprising. Work anniversaries (whether of joining the company or of moving into one’s current role) are natural times for reflection, and job-hunting activity jumps by 6% and 9%, respectively, at those points. But other data reveals factors that have nothing directly to do with work. For instance, birthdays—particularly midlife milestones such as turning 40 or 50—can prompt employees to assess their careers and take action if they’re unhappy with the results. (Job hunting jumps 12% just before birthdays.) Large social gatherings of peers, such as class reunions, can also be catalysts—they’re natural occasions for people to measure their progress relative to others’. (Job hunting jumps 16% after reunions.) Kropp says, “The big realization is that it’s not just what happens at work—it’s what happens in someone’s personal life that determines when he or she decides to look for a new job.”

Technology also provides clues about which star employees might be eyeing the exit. Companies can tell whether employees using work computers or phones are spending time on (or even just opening unsolicited e-mails from) career websites, and research shows that more firms are paying attention to these things. Large companies have also begun tracking badge swipes—employees’ use of an ID to enter and exit the building or the parking garage—to identify patterns that suggest a worker may be interviewing for a job. Companies sometimes retain outside firms, such as Joberate, to monitor employees’ social media activity for indications that people are scouting for new options. (Among other things, such firms look at whom employees are connecting with.) Joberate CEO Michael Beygelman compares this emerging science to the way that credit scoring can predict which consumers will fail to repay loans. Although some companies hire Joberate to help them anticipate which individual employees might think of leaving, others use the intelligence to zero in on departments or locations with high “likely to leave” scores so that they can work on team building and overall engagement. One large tech company uses it to target people it might lure away from other firms. Some investors use it to identify companies that may soon face turnover in key positions. “If the CIO and the head of sales are both likely to be job hunting, you have to ask what’s up,” Beygelman says.

Lori Hock, the CEO of Hudson Americas, a recruitment process outsourcing company that uses Joberate, values predictive intelligence because it helps her reduce clients’ attrition—and spot things that may be driving it. “Is it a bad manager?” she says. “Is there a training component? Are we undervaluing certain positions? It gives you a nice opportunity to think about what the trigger might have been—and to ask questionsbefore you lose talent.”

Some firms, such as Credit Suisse, take this tack with employees identified as being at risk of leaving: Internal recruiters cold-call the employees to alert them to openings inside the company. In 2014 the program reduced attrition by 1% and moved 300 employees, many of whom might otherwise have left, into new positions. Credit Suisse estimates that it saved $75 million to $100 million in rehiring and training costs.

Researchers agree that preemptive intervention is a better way to deal with employees’ wandering eyes than waiting for someone to get an offer and then making a counteroffer. CEB’s data shows that 50% of employees who accept a counteroffer leave within 12 months. “It’s almost like when you’re in a relationship and you’ve decided you want to break up, but your partner does something that makes you stick around a little longer,” Kropp says. “Employees who accept a counteroffer are most likely going to quit at some point very soon.”

The Reason of Troublemaker Kids Make Great Entrepreneurs

The psychologists who came up with this theory examined a Swedish study that followed approximately 1,000 children from one Swedish town over a 40-year period. What they found was that the children who ended up being entrepreneurs as adults were often the ones who got into trouble as kids.

“We analyzed this data regarding the entrepreneurship the participants were showing later on in their professional careers. We wanted to know what kind of social behavior they showed,” Martin Obschonka from the Center for Applied Developmental Science at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena in Sweden said. What they found was that those entrepreneurs were more likely to show anti-social tendencies in adolescence. They also noted a higher rate of criminal offenses (but mostly misdemeanors)among those who ended up becoming entrepreneurs.

Researchers said the data showed more frequent disregard of parental orders, more frequent cheating at school, more incidents of truancy, and  more regular drug consumption and shoplifting, the researchers report. These results were particularly applicable to male participants.

The good news is that, over time, these future business owners seem to have shed their wayward ways.

By the time the participants reached adulthood, the entrepreneurial set was no more likely to exhibit anti-social behaviors than those who went on to other occupations.

Obschonka said it is not entirely surprising that entrepreneurs showed a tendency toward risk-taking as youth. The same character traits that drive people to be innovative and take risks as entrepreneurs, may have its roots in adolescent rule-breaking behavior.

“The data suggest that a rebellious adolescent behavior against socially accepted standards and an early questioning of boundaries doesn’t necessarily lead to criminal and anti-social careers,” Obschonka said. “It can rather be the basis for a productive and socially acceptable entrepreneurship.”

Obschonka conducted the research with Swedish colleagues from the University of Stockholm.

The Next Generation of Workers

workplace_wellness_ideasThe next generation of employees is getting ready to enter the workforce and they have a much different outlook on what they want out of their careers than those who have come before them, new research finds.

The study from the job search site Monster revealed that soon-to-be professionals from Generation Z, those born between 1994 and 2010, are more driven by money and ambition than those who are already working. Specifically, 70 percent of those surveyed from Gen Z said their top work motivator is money, compared with just 63 percent of employees from all other generations.

Being able to work in a job they are passionate about is another motivator. The study found that 46 percent of those from Generation Z, specifically between ages 15 and 20, said the ability to pursue their passion is a top motivating factor, compared with only 32 percent of baby boomers, Gen Xers and millennials.

The next generation of workers appears more willing to put in the extra effort needed to achieve their goals. Nearly 60 percent of those surveyed from Generation Z said they would work nights and weekends for higher pay, opposed to just 45 percent of millennials, 40 percent of Gen Xers and 33 percent of baby boomers.

Gen Z workers will also head anywhere for a job they want. Nearly 70 percent of Generation Z said they would be willing to move for a good job opportunity, compared with 52 percent of those across all other generations.

In order to attract Generation Z workers, employers better make sure they are keeping up with their technology. Having grown up their entire lives immersed in technology, those from Gen Z believe that having access to the latest technology will make them more productive and allow them to work from anywhere.

In addition to their technology offerings, organizations need to start defining their brand to Generation Z if they want to attract them when they hit the workforce. The study’s authors said engaging with this generation requires a strong employer brand that differentiates an organization in the marketplace and that also communicates in a language Gen Z understands.

“The key to successfully attracting and engaging Gen Z throughout their candidate journey will be a strong employer brand that is consistent across technologies,” Matheson said. “Organizational brands will need to be transparent, adaptable, personable and memorable, targeting the brand’s ideal Gen Z employees through tools like social recruiting and talent CRM targeted emails.”

The study was based on surveys of more than 2,000 people across the boomer, X, Y and Z generations. The Gen Z respondents pre-qualified themselves as either employed or, among younger teens, planning to work in the future.