Despite uncertainty in the job market, the top reasons working Americans say they stay with their current employers are work-life fit and enjoying what they do, according to a survey by the American Psychological Association (APA). Fewer employees cited concrete reasons for remaining on the job, such as benefits, pay and a lack of other job opportunities.
The Workforce Retention Survey, which was conducted among employed adults age 18 and older, examined the factors that contribute to employee retention. More than two-thirds (67 percent) said they choose to stay because their jobs fit well with the other aspects of their lives. The same percentage said they stay at their current jobs because they enjoy the work they do. Even with the slow economic recovery and relatively high unemployment, only 39 percent of respondents cited lack of other job opportunities as a reason for staying with their current employers.
"Americans spend a majority of their waking hours at work and, as such, they want to have harmony between their job demands and the other parts of their lives," says David W. Ballard, PsyD, MBA, head of APA's Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program. "To engage the workforce and remain competitive, it's no longer sufficient to focus solely on benefits. Today, top employers create an environment where employees feel connected to the organization and have a positive work experience that's part of a rich, fulfilling life."
The survey also found differences based on gender and age: More women than men cited both work-life fit (72 percent vs. 62 percent) and enjoying the work (72 percent vs. 63 percent) as reasons they stay with their current employers.
Smaller differences were found between the percentages of women and men who reported staying at an organization because of the benefits (61 percent vs. 59 percent), the pay (57 percent vs. 62 percent) and their job giving them the opportunity to make a difference (49 percent vs. 52 percent). Working Americans age 55 and older were the most likely to cite enjoying the work (80 percent), work-life fit (76 percent), benefits (66 percent), feeling connected to the organization (63 percent) and having an opportunity to make a difference (57 percent) as reasons for staying with their current employers.
For employees who said they plan to stay with their current employers for more than two years, the biggest drivers of expected tenure were enjoying the work, having a job that fits well with other life demands and feeling connected to the organization. More information and full results of the survey are available at www.apa.org
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