A survey of Human Resources professionals in Canada found that two-thirds of employees “have one foot out the door.”
“In 2021, AWI predicted the Great Resignation, when more than half of employees said they intended to job hunt that year,” says Achievers Workforce Institute Lead Analyst Caitlin Nobes. “Now, we’re witnessing a new wave of job hunting due to compensation.”
For the first time in six years, compensation has trumped career growth as the number-one reason employees job hunt, according to AWI data.
This “fundamental shift in employee priorities” may be reflective of the current economic landscape, with 71% of employees saying they struggle to pay their bills or must budget carefully to meet their needs.
“As cost of living increases and salaries don’t, twice as many people identify compensation as the top reason to job hunt compared to 2023,” noted Nobes. “Businesses must find a way to stay competitive with wages—or high resignation rates will return.”
To retain valuable talent in a time when only one-third of employees are certain they’ll stay in their current job in 2024, AWI suggests four strategies.
Cash is King
People who live comfortably on their salary are nearly twice as likely to have a strong sense of belonging at work than those who are struggling, according to AWI.
While it’s impossible to out-pay every competitor, employers should “consider both market rate and local living wage as a critical pillar of workplace wellbeing and pay their employees adequately to avoid a second Great Resignation.”
AWI says that “emotional salary” can reduce employee turnover.
Emotional Salary represents the non-monetary aspects of a job, such as culture, career, and work-life balance.
Recognition is one example; it offers a “protective factor.” AWI found that people who are paid below the local market rate—but are recognized at least monthly—are 33% more likely to say they are not job hunting in 2024.
People who see “promotion equity” in their workplace are more than twice as likely to say they can see themselves having a long career at their company, according to AWI.
They’re also almost twice as likely to say they are productive at work.
“Ensure that promotions are communicated clearly, and that the communicators represent the full scale of diversity at your organization,” says Achievers Chief People and Culture Officer Hannah Yardley.
Support the Supporters
One top finding from this year’s Engagement and Retention report is that employees’ supporters, the Human Resources departments, feel unsupported.
Only one-third of HR leaders feel “very supported” by their C-suite when it comes to implementing impactful people initiatives.
“HR leaders are underwater,” Yardley said. “As data demonstrates that employers can hold onto valuable workers, reduce attrition, and remain competitive by elevating the non-monetary aspects of the jobs they offer, one key truth is clear: business leaders should get behind HR and their impactful people engagement initiatives to ensure success.”