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.

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