And you thought getting trades was a problem!

April 30, 2014

A lot has been written recently on the industry problem of getting good trades and rightly so. However, there is another problem you should not overlook, losing your current employees!

A number of studies in 2013 including articles in Forbes Magazine predicted that in 2014 employee retention and engagement would be a top issue facing leadership. They were right, a study in 2014 by shows that 87.2% of respondents said that they wanted to leave their current jobs. A Gallup poll found that 52% of workers were not engaged in their work.

According to a CareerBuilder study in 2014 the reasons for workers leaving their jobs because they are:

Dissatisfied with advancement opportunities at current company: 45 percent

Dissatisfied with their work/life balance: 39 %

Feel underemployed: 39 %

Highly stressed: 39 %

Have a poor opinion of their boss’s performance: 37 %

Feel they were overlooked for a promotion: 36 %

Didn’t receive a pay increase in 2013: 28 %

Note that the issue of compensation is last on the list. This is not an issue of pay but rather an issue of how employees are being treated, respected and empowered.

What stems from this discussion is the question, do you conduct employee satisfaction surveys? 

If you do not then you don’t actually know how your employees feel, you just think you do. There may be a small cost in conducting employee surveys it is worth it. According to the Center for American Progress the costs of employee turnover demonstrate that it costs businesses about one-fifth of a worker’s salary to replace that worker.

If you do conduct employee satisfaction surveys, have you responded to them? Have you addressed the issues raised in these surveys?

If not then be prepared for employee turnover this year!

Past blogs that you may find of interest related to this topic:

Talent Management

The relationship between customer and employee satisfaction


Denis Leonard has a degree in construction engineering an M.B.A. and a Ph.D. in quality management. Denis is a Fellow of the American Society for Quality, a Certified Quality Manager, Auditor, and Six Sigma Black Belt. He has been an Examiner for the Baldrige National Quality Award Board of Examiners a Judge on the International Team Excellence Competition and a Lead Judge on the National Housing Quality Award. A former Professor of Quality at the University of Wisconsin, he has experience as a quality manager in the home building industry as well as construction engineer, site manager, and in training, auditing, and consulting with expertise in strategic and operational quality improvement initiatives. His work has achieved national quality, environmental, and safety management awards for clients. 

Denis is co-author of The Executive Guide to Understanding and Implementing the Baldrige Criteria: Improve Revenue and Create Organizational Excellence.