motion blurred business people walking on the streetThe global economy continues to improve. As it improves, it is natural for talented team members to ponder a job change.

US employers added over 321,000 jobs in November. The total increase in US payrolls of 2.65 million is the best annual figure since the late 1990’s (with one month yet to go). Global business cycle indicators are improving.

Even better, average hourly earnings for employees in November bumped up 0.4 percent in the US, double what was anticipated. There is optimism that these hourly earnings averages will continue to improve in the months to come.

A very interesting development – not unexpected – is that the number of people who have quit their jobs in the US has jumped. In September, nearly 2.8 million Americans quit jobs, the most since April 2008. With the unemployment rate remaining at 5.8%, it seems that many of these “job quitters” have found new jobs quickly.

Younger workers are the most aggressive US job switchers. The number of 16-24 year olds that left one job for another in the third quarter was up 14% over the same quarter’s figures in 2013. 9.5% of 25-54 year olds switched jobs in this recent quarter.

Recruiters are seeing greater willingness from top talent to learn more about potential jobs. One head hunter said that about half of targeted players accept interviews today compared to 25% a few years ago.

What do these numbers mean for you? These indicators place greater demands on leaders to create safe, inspiring workplaces for every player.

Team members have always had the choice to leave your employ. The global recession caused job holders to be rather conservative, staying in a role that wasn’t maybe a perfect fit because of a steady paycheck. With higher wages being offered and more jobs now available, the temptation may be great for team members to look at a new job.

One client recently experienced the shock of losing a key player unexpectedly. This key player was talented, engaged, and influential as the organization improved systems, accountability, and workplace culture. She was the leader and “face” of two major initiatives that impacted most of their global workforce. When she announced her two week notice, senior leaders were surprised and disappointed.

For this player, the new opportunity leveraged all her strengths. She was recruited “out of the blue” and chose to do the interview, just to learn what this company was offering – and to keep her interview skills honed. The job, the company, and the challenges really intrigued her – so she said yes.

Losing this key player was a setback that required time, restructuring, and development of current players to manage those initiatives.

How can leaders reduce the likelihood of talented, engaged players leaving? These three pieces have been shown to increase retention and employee engagement:

  • Fair compensation and benefits
  • Meaningful work
  • A work environment that demonstrates trust, dignity, and respect to everyone

How can you know if these three pieces are in place? ASK your employees, regularly. Take what you learn and refine systems, procedures, and expectations to remain an employer of choice!

How healthy is your team or company’s culture? Don’t guess – get the data with my online Culture Effectiveness Assessment.

Photo © bluraz – Dollar Photo Club. All rights reserved.

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The music heard on these podcasts is from one of my songs, “Heartfelt,” copyright © 2005 Chris Edmonds Music (ASCAP). I play all instruments on these recordings.

S. Chris Edmonds

S. Chris Edmonds

Chris helps leaders create purposeful, positive, productive work cultures. He's a speaker, author, and executive consultant. He blogs, podcasts, and video casts. He is the author of The Culture Engine and six other books.
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