In a 2012 article, Steinbrecher addressed recent findings demonstrating that half of all Americans hate their jobs. According to Steinbrecher, more employees throughout the United States are planning on finding a new job within the next year. In exploring reasons as to why an increased number of employees throughout the country want to find a new source of employment, Steinbrecher found that most employees are seeking more engagement and fulfillment in their work lives (Steinbrecher, 2012).
Although employee turnover is an issue that many organizations face, the growing prevelenace of people wanting more fulfillment in the workplace is something new. In citing recent research, Steinbrecher (2014) concludes “two-thirds (66 percent) intend to look for a new job with another organization in the next year” (para. 3). Even though a growing number of employees want to find new positions with other employers, the labor market is not supporting this trend. In further demonstrating this Steinbrecher cites recent economic data suggesting that there are only 3.5 million open positions throughout the country and 12.7 million people who are unemployed. In considering the current state of the economy, there simply are not enough jobs to fulfill the demand for employment. However, this assessment fails to consider how a growing number of people want to leave their positions to find employment elsewhere.
In exploring reasons as to why many employees want to pursue other employment opportunities, Steinbrecher (2014) argues that many employees have become disenchanted with corporate life. Furthermore, many employees are struggling “to create more balance in our over-amped schedules, and yearning for more meaningful connections in every aspect of life” (para. 6). In addition to these reasons, Steinbrecher further argues that many employees do not feel appreciated by their employer. In conjunction, these reasons have left many people throughout the United States wanting to find new sources of employment.
In addressing the manager’s role in helping motivate employees and reducing employee turnover, Steinbrecher (2014) argues that managers need to form an emotional connection with employees. Managers further need “to find ways to promote productivity while fostering creativity, meaning and fulfillment” (para. 8). Yet, not all managers are cut out for this role. Nearly 70% of managers fail to achieve success because they lack the interpersonal skills they need to succeed. Despite this prospect, managers need to have a basic understanding of employees, be reasonable in establishing deadlines and flexible work hours, understand that different generations have different needs, encourage employees to be creative, and focus on communication. Long-term, Steinbrecher argues that employers that take care of their employees will have their employees take care of them.
In relating Steinbrecher’s work to managers, employee turnover remains a problem for organizations throughout the country. Yet managers need to pay careful attention to employee turnover rates within the company. The cost of employee turnover extends beyond what the organization pays the employee. Instead, the manager needs to consider the cost of training new employees, paying other employees overtime to fulfill basic job roles that were ascribed to the employee who left the company, and a general loss of productivity (Phillips and O’Connell, 2004). As a whole, the cost of loosing an employee that is paid less than $50,000 per year “amounts to 20 percent of the person’s annual salary” (Lucas, 2012, para. 3). From this perspective, loosing one employee can be a costly venture. However, loosing multiple employees can directly hinder the organization’s successes.
Although employee turnover remains a growing problem for organizations throughout the United States, managers can help to reduce employee turnover rates within the organization. Similar to the recommendations made by Steinbrecher, Hartog, Verburg, and Croon (2013) found that employee satisfaction is directly correlated with open communication. In exploring more than 2,000 employees, Hartog et. al. determined that employees with the highest levels of satisfaction and lowest prospects of voluntarily leaving the company felt they were able to openly discuss and communicate with their manager at any given time. Furthermore, this research demonstrated that manager’s who were understanding of the employee’s needs tended to have more loyal employees.
The workload the manager ascribes to employees is another factor that can influence employee turnover. According to Bartlett and Ghoshal (2002) over the past few decades organizations have begun to focus less on employees and more on their own goals. Yet, this strategy is not effective in fulfilling the organization’s needs or the employee’s needs. Although work is one element of the employee’s life, there are other elements that may influence whether or not the employee is satisfied in the workplace. When workers are forced to choose between their livelihood and other things that matter to them in life (such as family) workplace satisfaction decreases. Managers need to consider the needs of employees, and the role of their actions in motivating employees. For example, simplistic actions that make the lives of employees easier tend to build loyalty and employee satisfaction. This is best exemplified in the rise of employees being offered flexible schedules. The American Psychological Association (2008) further concurs in finding that employees who are able to telecommute one day per week, or have a flexible schedule tend to have lower levels of workplace stress and frustrations. Even though not all employees have the ability to telecommute, the prospect of giving employees some level of flexibility in their schedules, and communicating with employees directly affects employee turnover. In implementing such solutions, managers need to take the time to determine the needs of their employees and how they can best meet these needs.
- Bartlett C.A., Ghoshal S. (2002) Building Competitive Advantage Through People. Retrieved from: http://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/building-competitive-advantage-through-people/
- Boon C., Verburg R.M., Croon M.A. (2013) HRM, Communication, Satisfaction, and Perceived Performance. Journal of Management 39 (6) 1637-1665.
- Building Competitive Advantage Through People (2002) Retrieved from: http://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/building-competitive-advantage-through-people/
- Employees benefit from flexible hours, telecommuting (2008) Retrieved from: http://www.apa.org/monitor/jan08/employees.aspx
- Lucas S. (2012) How much does it cost companies to lose employees? Retrieved from: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/how-much-does-it-cost-companies-to-lose-employees/
- Phillips J.J., O’Connell A. (2004) Managing Employee Retention. Burlington, Massachusetts: Elsevier.
- Steinbrecher S. (2012) Why Half of America Hates Their Jobs. Retrieved from: http://www.cnbc.com/id/47875050?__source=yahoo|headline|other|text|&par=yahoo#.