Turnover, Schmurnover

shrugging guyMuch has been made of the mass employee exodus we may start to see as the long-sluggish job market slowly stabilizes, and how companies must work to retain critical talent now if they want to thrive in the near future.

Well, employers don’t seem to be making too much of it.

That’s according to a study from AMA Enterprise, a division of the New York-based American Management Association, which asked nearly 1,000 companies what they think of employees expressing their intentions to seek new positions. Employers answered:

• It’s nothing new for employees to keep an eye out for new opportunities, and I don’t regard the present situation as something unusual (69 percent).

• This is a growing mindset among our employees, and I expect many to seek a new job as soon as they’re able (24 percent).

• This has become a prevalent attitude among our employees and an urgent issue our organization needs to address (7 percent).

So, that’s nearly three-quarters of participating companies shrugging off the notion that their employees could be eyeballing the exits in large numbers. And, when asked how urgent senior management at their organizations regards the potential or actual turnover situation, 39 percent said “not so urgent,” with another 22 percent saying leadership considers the matter “not at all urgent.”

Maybe your organization shouldn’t be more concerned with workers dreaming of greener pastures now than at any other time. Or maybe its ignoring the symptoms of what could prove to be a big problem. Either way, keeping a close watch on the door probably wouldn’t hurt, according to Sandi Edwards, senior vice president of AMA Enterprise.

“The lack of focus on turnover tells me that many top-level executives are not tuned into the widespread worker dissatisfaction found in so much recent research,” said Edwards, in a statement.

Intent to leave is a key indicator of engagement and commitment to the organization. If management wants the best out of its people, they need to be aware of their stress and contribution levels. Management needs to work with them individually to understand what will meet their career goals along with what has to be done to drive the organization forward.”