The Three-Year Itch: What Keeps Employees Job Hopping

Although it’s a phenomenon frequently used to describe romantic relationships, the “three-year itch” is becoming more and more prevalent in the workplace as a greater share of employees are thinking about quitting their jobs. According to a recent poll by PwC, 65% of employees were looking for a new job in 2021—up 30% from the percentage of workers surveyed earlier that year. And as millennials are projected to make up more of the workforce (75% of the global workforce by 2025), it’s important for businesses across industries to understand what keeps employees—especially younger generations—from job hopping. 

Keep reading to learn three ways you can keep your employees loyal and excited to work towards your business’s goals.

1. Management Style

Management styles are crucial when it comes to retaining employees. Although certain managers may gravitate towards their own natural leadership styles, there are specific styles that work well, and others that don’t. 

For example, micromanagement, the style of closely monitoring the work of employees, is still prevalent in many organizations—despite the fact that it oftentimes creates a stressful and unproductive work environment. After all, who would want their manager breathing down their neck and fixating on the smallest of details instead of focusing on the big picture? It’s no wonder that micromanagement can lead to high turnover, decreased productivity, poor creativity, and more. 

In contrast, organizations that strive for management styles that foster autonomy can increase employee job satisfaction. That’s because employees appreciate receiving freedom and trust so they can complete their work the way that’s best for them. So when considering which management styles to adopt, consider the fact that the ones that prioritize long-term employee happiness and engagement are likely the ones that will lead to solid retention rates and increase productivity.

2. Work Culture

Work culture, the collective attitudes and behaviors of an organization, is one of the biggest factors in keeping employees from thinking about calling it quits. Work culture encompasses everything from the business’s core values, management styles, communication preferences, policies, benefits, perks, and much more.

The best work cultures are the ones that are intentionally defined and created, rather than developed haphazardly. That’s because a proactive, positive work culture attracts top talent, increases engagement, creates fulfillment, impacts happiness, and drives performance, leading to a virtuous cycle. All of these are aspects that can strengthen and support your company’s overall business strategy, which is why it’s important to take a step back sometimes and evaluate whether your work culture is what you want it to be.

3. Job Fulfillment

Although higher pay is undoubtedly a top factor in workers seeking new jobs, it’s not always about money. As we discussed in one of our previous blog posts, one of the most crucial elements in finding job satisfaction is believing that your work and tasks are important and meaningful. Plus, uncovering one’s sense of purpose can then lead to promotions and higher pay. 

One important factor in fostering job satisfaction that goes back to positive work culture is recognizing employees for their achievements. Acknowledging someone’s good work, whether publicly, privately, or both, goes a long way in making them know that their performance and success will allow them to advance within the company.

Another important factor in creating job satisfaction for employees is ensuring that they know they’re in the right seat given their unique experiences, skills, personalities, needs, and goals. As long as the employee is a good fit for the company, more companies are strategically redeploying employees to the best positions for both the overall organization and the individual worker. This is important, because when employees are in the wrong job, they often feel disengaged and unproductive, which are feelings that can affect your work culture. In fact, a study found that 1 in 5 workers are in the wrong job.

Bolster Employee Retention with the PATH Assessment®

Build a better work culture and increase job fulfillment by discovering which specific traits and behaviors matter for your employees and the jobs that need to be done. 

Most personality assessments test for the wrong things or use questionable logic to analyze responses and draw conclusions. But the PATH Assessment organizes employee traits and behaviors into four modes: Purpose, Approach, Thinking, and Habits. Far from the average personality test, the PATH Assessment leverages data science and artificial intelligence (AI) to match candidates for the traits most advantageous to specific roles. The PATH Assessment will reveal who employees are in the workplace—what drives them, how they interact with coworkers, how they problem-solve, and how they take action.

Take the next step in increasing loyalty and keeping employees from job hopping by learning about the PATH Assessment today. Let’s get started.

Three Steps to Better Work Culture

If you’ve ever discussed all the different elements of what makes a job enjoyable and fulfilling, chances are work culture—the attitudes and behaviors of an organization—is one of the first things to come up. And for good reason: work culture can make some organizations amazing places to work and others toxic dumpster fires.

How? A positive work culture not only motivates employees to do their best work, but also encourages them to contribute to a creative and productive work environment.

So let’s take a look at three steps to building a better work culture.

1. Create and align core values.

Core values reflect how your organization does business, how it serves its customers, and how employees interact with each other. Essentially, core values define your company’s identity, and your work culture should demonstrate those values authentically. If it doesn’t, it can be easy for employees to think those values are solely lip service and feel discouraged or even angry.

It’s important to have core values be clearly communicated and understood by everyone in your organization. For example, if a company’s value is being accountable, employees should be able to hold each other accountable for accomplishing their responsibilities and tasks. By identifying with the company’s core values, employees can feel connected to the overall direction of the organization and find purpose in their day-to-day work.

2. Prioritize healthy communication.

Communication is the fundamental component of keeping your employees engaged, included, and informed. Workplace communication covers everything from updating employees on process changes and when to enroll in benefits to facilitating feedback and outlining performance expectations. Outlining performance expectations is a particularly crucial part of communication: employees want their good work to be acknowledged and for their stellar performances to advance them within the company. That’s why communication can make or break your work culture, especially if your organization has a remote or hybrid work policy that can make it harder for employees to feel connected to each other.

One of the strongest benefits of healthy workplace communication is the trust that it can build among employees. When employees can not only trust that the workplace information being disseminated is honest and timely but also feel safe giving feedback, it builds a transparent work culture. All of this factors into making employees feel valued and fostering creativity throughout the organization.

3. Encourage autonomy.

Put simply, micromanagement creates a stressful and unproductive workplace. Yet, this management style of closely monitoring the work of employees still happens in countless organizations. It can look like fixating on the smallest of details or requiring everything to be done in a particular, unnecessary way. Tolerating micromanagement can lead to high turnover, decreased productivity, poor creativity, and worse. 
In contrast, organizations that encourage autonomy can create more trust in leadership, inspire creativity, and build more morale. Autonomy in the workplace gives employees the freedom and trust to complete their work in a manner that works for them and at a pace that is right for them. By giving employees more autonomy, you can increase their job satisfaction.

Build a Better Work Culture with the PATH Assessment®

A crucial part of building a better work culture is ensuring you have a solid team with the specific traits and behaviors that not only work well for your organization but for the jobs that need to be done. 

But how do you know which traits matter for your organization, or how to identify them?

Most personality assessments test for the wrong things or use questionable logic to analyze responses and draw conclusions. But the PATH Assessment organizes employee traits and behaviors into four modes: Purpose, Approach, Thinking, and Habits. Far from the average personality test, the PATH Assessment leverages data science and artificial intelligence (AI) to match candidates for the traits most advantageous to specific roles. The PATH Assessment will reveal who employees are in the workplace—what drives them, how they interact with coworkers, how they problem-solve, and how they take action.
Take the next step in building a positive work culture by learning about the PATH Assessment today. Let’s get started.

Does AI Really Reduce Hiring Bias?

Biases in recruitment and hiring are a real problem.

In addition to being just plain unfair, hiring biases can ultimately impact a business’s bottom line. Research from McKinsey shows that companies with diverse workforces consistently perform better than those with homogeneous workforces. 

Although it’s not yet a perfect solution, artificial intelligence (AI) is proving to be a valuable tool for reducing bias in hiring. Here, we’ll take a look at how unconscious biases affect the hiring process, and the efficacy of AI in reducing hiring bias.

Is bias really a problem in hiring?

Yup. And you don’t have to look far for examples. 

In 2017, Palantir paid $1.7 million to settle a lawsuit from the U.S. Department of Labor, which accused Palantir of disproportionately turning down qualified Asian candidates who applied for certain engineering positions. 

Although Palantir disagreed with the allegations and denied knowingly discriminating, the numbers showed otherwise: For one software engineer job, Palantir hired 14 non-Asian engineers and 11 Asian engineers, even though 85% of the 1,160 applicants were Asian. 

The Palantir case is a prime example of unconscious bias in hiring, and it’s not an isolated incident. Research from the University of Toronto shows that candidates with Asian names are 28% less likely to get an interview than equally qualified candidates with Anglo-Canadian names.

In addition, a 2016 study found that people with resumes containing minority racial cues — such as a distinctively African-American or Asian name — received 30 to 50% fewer callbacks from employers than those who had equivalent resumes without racial cues. When these candidates “whitened” their resumes — concealing or downplaying racial cues — they were significantly more likely to receive a callback, even though their qualifications were unchanged. 

And it’s not just race that makes a difference. Other studies reveal biases against female and older candidates.

Can’t you just train hiring managers to be less biased?

Maybe, but hiring bias isn’t just a problem with people. Hiring processes can also prevent qualified candidates from getting hired. 

For example, candidates who were referred by current employees are more likely to be hired than non-referred candidates. But referrals often result in candidates who are very similar to those who referred them, effectively boxing out candidates who don’t already have an in at the company. 

The college-to-job pipeline has inherent bias as well: Overburdened hiring managers who don’t have time to sort through the pile of job applications often sort based on the college a candidate attended.

This results in preference for candidates who graduated from traditionally “elite” or “prestigious” colleges…which, of course, can have their own biases in admissions. Even worse, some companies recruit directly from elite universities, actively homogenizing their workforces. 

Can AI reduce hiring bias?

AI has the ability to reduce hiring bias, pushing the hiring and recruitment process into a more fair, more diverse future.

AI can be integrated into the hiring process in many ways. AI platforms can help sort resumes by desired qualifications while ignoring demographic data. Conversational AI can be used to collect additional information from candidates. AI tools can also streamline the day-to-day work of a hiring department, freeing up more time for fair consideration

Most promisingly, AI can be used to examine big data sets and identify common traits of successful candidates, giving hiring managers a more reliable heuristic than a candidate’s name, education, or even work history. 

But an AI tool is only as effective as the data that goes into it. If the creators of AI solutions aren’t careful, bias can sneak its way into AI-supported decisions.

Luckily, projects such as the Open AI Charter aim to limit implicit bias in AI. IBM Research, too, has produced a series of principles aimed specifically at mitigating bias in AI solutions. 

In other words, AI is not yet a silver bullet for eliminating bias in hiring, but we’re getting there.

Will hiring be more fair in the future? Can AI help? We believe the answer is yes — if companies know what’s good for them.

Find out how GoodJob’s AI can help your company reduce hiring bias. Contact us.