Survey Shows Serious Gaps between Employers and Employees

 In Career Tips, Job Search Strategy

Survey Shows Serious Gaps between Employers and EmployeesRecently, Eileen Habelow, Senior Vice President of organizational development for Randstad (world’s second largest HR and staffing firm) released the results of an employee attachment index survey.  The results should send chills up and down the spines of US business leaders.  As Habelow said “This is like carrying sand with a sieve.  Our businesses can’t attract or hire the right people; and the ones they have, they can’t keep.”  To make matters worse, there are sizeable gaps in what employees think is important to keep them and what the companies think they should be doing.  In other words, the companies are focusing on the wrong things to keep their most highly prized employees.

According to the survey, the gaps between employers and employees were in several areas.  Two items showed up as very important to the employees, but not as important to employer:

  1. enjoying going to work each day
  2. feeling inspired to do your best

Another gap was employers think recognition for effort is more important than employees do.  These gaps seem to suggest that employers are focusing on the wrong things to keep employees from leaving.

An additional area in the survey asked employees who were likely to leave what factors might motivate them to leave.  The top two items were salary and stress issues with their current job.  In previous years, salary hasn’t been as highly rated as a reason for leaving.  When asked about this Habelow said “If you are paid enough, salary is a minor factor for your reasons to leave.  When the pay or benefits isn’t “good enough” to meet a person’s needs, it becomes the primary reason.  This issue has shifted to the top reason, because in the past 4 years the level of pay and benefits has shrunk.”

When asked what the key message was to employers as a result of this survey, Habelow said “Employers need to stop the “peanut butter” approach to their employee retention strategies.  That approach is where you spread pay, benefits and programs to everyone equally.  The programs need to recognize the key performers who they want to retain and develop programs based on top items that are important to these employees.  They need to do a better job of listening.”

Habelow did say until substantial change is made in the businesses, employees need to have open and frank discussions with their management about the issues driving them to consider leaving.  “Management needs to know when a top performer is thinking of leaving so they can address their needs if at all possible.”

The key messages of this survey are this:

  • As an employee you should feel validated.  There really is a gap between you and your management.
  • As an employer you should be afraid.  Afraid that the minute your employees get a chance to bail, they will.

On the topic of ratios for job openings to viable candidates, when asked to reconcile the differences between the unemployment rate and 71% of companies reporting they can’t find the right employees to hire from the survey, Habelow said: “You have to peel back the numbers to get into the details.  The general issue is that our work force is currently a mismatch for where the openings are.  When you look at professions and industry segments, you can see the mismatch.  The technical and medical fields are where the biggest shortages are in available manpower.”  If a person is unemployed and looking to change careers, they would do well to consider going back to school to retool themselves for these professions.  This issue isn’t likely to go away very soon.

For more career tips and advice – FREE newsletter and eworkbook:  From Dorothy Tannahill-Moran – Your Career Change Agent from and


Recent Posts

Start typing and press Enter to search