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12/20/2006
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Study: 75% Of Workers Will Look For New Jobs In 2007

After 12% of employees quit this year, more companies are putting in place special job-retention programs such as extra training and bonuses.

More than 75% of American employees will be looking for a new job in the coming year, according to a new survey.

The study also shows that 12% of companies' workforces voluntarily resigned this year, and managers are more likely to stick around than the people they're managing, according to the 2006 U.S. Job Retention Poll. The Society for Human Resource Management, working in conjunction with the Wall Street Journal's CareerJournal.com, put together the study by surveying 462 employees and 367 human resources professionals.

"As the economy and job market continue to improve, employee retention poses a greater challenge for HR professionals," said Gail Griffin, general manager of CareerJournal.com, in a written statement. "The top three reasons people voluntarily leave their organizations are for better compensation elsewhere, career opportunity elsewhere, and dissatisfaction with the potential for career development."

Why are they leaving?

Better pay is luring 30% of employees away, while better career opportunities are beckoning another 27%. Dissatisfaction with the potential for career development at their current company is pushing 21% out the door, according to the study.

With 73% of HR professionals reporting that they're concerned about employees quitting, more companies are working harder to keep them around. Forty-nine percent of HR professionals said they implemented special retention processes this past year, compared with only 35% who did it in 2004. Promoting qualified employees, offering competitive merit increases/salary adjustments, and providing career-development opportunities are among the best employee-retention strategies, they reported. Although salary increases often are perceived as the most valuable incentive for employees to stay with their current jobs, they also are among the most difficult to provide because companies are still cautious about the budget expenditure.

"Offering competitive salaries is important to employees. However, compensation alone isn't sufficient for a complete retention strategy," said Susan R. Meisinger, CEO of the society, in a written statement. "Career-development opportunities and work/life balance are also important, and employers must consider these types of benefits in their retention practices if they want to maintain or increase retention at their organizations."

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