Employees are happy to stay put for the right job

With skills shortages raising the prospect of increased staff turnover, new research suggests that many employees are content to stay where they are.

A survey of more than 1,000 workers by BPS World has found that employees usually stay with one employer for an average of 4.5 years; and a third usually stay in one role for more than six years.

When asked about the longest time they've spent with one employer, almost half (45%) of those polled said they have worked for one company for ten years or more at some point in their career. And 43% said they'd consider staying with their "dream" employer for life.

Reasons for staying put include: "enjoyment" for 47%, followed by "being treated well and respected by their employer" for 38%. Being well-paid was important to 30% of respondents.

One third (31%) of employers polled said career progression is a key driver of staff retention; however, just 13% of employees said progression is their reason for staying. Similarly, 20% of employers said pride in working for the company is the key factor in staff loyalty; just 11% of employees agreed.

Simon Conington, md of BPS World, said: "Employers will be reassured to see that for the most part, employees are not jumping from job to job in a matter of months as some headlines would suggest. Whilst this is encouraging, it's important that businesses don't become complacent; employers that consider employee engagement to be low priority will without doubt lose talented staff.

"Employers are rightly appreciating that their staff need to enjoy what they do if they're going to hang onto them, but there is a slight mismatch in what else they believe is important to their teams, versus what actually retains a talented staff member. It's vital that they don't rely on assumptions, and encourage transparency and open conversations with their employees to foster a culture of loyalty and engagement within their business."

Meanwhile, new research published this week by Edology has revealed that there has been a shift in attitude to job-hopping. Its survey of 1,000 employers found that 82% said they would hire someone who had switched jobs in the past six months. In fact, 51% said that people who switch careers tend to be more motivated and 42% said they would be more likely to hire someone who had retrained or made a career change than someone who hadn't.

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