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Employees Are Staying Put, But Retention is Not Always Good for Business

The "good job" that employees intend to keep doesn’t necessarily equate with the kind of "good work" that you need to lead your company forward.

Princeton, NJ, July 12, 2012 --( Research by global consulting firm BlessingWhite reveals that the large majority of North American workers are likely to remain with their employers for the next 12 months. Only 12% indicate determination to jump ship.

Assuming you have a choice, do you plan to remain with your organization through the next 12 months?
· 56% “yes, definitely”
· 33% “probably”
· 12% “no way”

This expressed intent to stay is nearly identical to the findings from BlessingWhite’s last engagement study, which was conducted in 2010. Joan Dasher, vice president of the employee engagement practice, explains, “When we last polled the North American workforce, 56% of employees said they would definitely stay, and 13% indicated they were headed for the door. Our latest findings suggest that despite improvements in the economy, workers are not planning the mass exodus that many employers fear.”

Although leaders who worry about losing top talent may welcome this news, Dasher cautions against complacency. The new study suggests that the least satisfied members of the workforce may only be biding their time until better opportunities come along. “When we analyzed the reasons for staying, we found that disengaged employees as well as those we categorize as ‘crashing and burning’ plan to stick around because of a secure job in a poor labor market, good financial rewards, and desirable job conditions. In a sense, they are being held hostage by what they are getting from their employers. That’s not a winning equation for business.”

Reasons Most Disengaged Employees Stay
· “The economy. I don't think there are other job opportunities for me out there.” 23%
· “No desire for change. I am comfortable here.” 17%
· “My job conditions. I have flexible hours, a good commute, etc.” 15%

The research reveals that more engaged employees, on the other hand, plan to stay because of what they are contributing to their organization. Their top reason for sticking around: “My work. I like the work that I do.”

Reasons Most Engaged Employees Stay
· “My work. I like the work that I do.” 42%
· “My organization's mission. I believe in what we do.” 17%
· “My career. I have significant development or advancement opportunities here.” 9%

Dasher continues, “You need all your employees to be passionate about their work and to apply their discretionary effort toward your top priorities. We recommend that you focus on helping employees find meaning in their work and try to boost engagement levels where you can. Make sure your high performers are getting what they need in terms of challenge, growth and development. And you may also need to cull those workers who have emotionally checked out. The ‘good job’ that they intend to keep doesn’t necessarily equate with the kind of ‘good work’ that you need to lead your company forward. Retention of the wrong employees is bad business.”

Intended for line executives and HR leaders, the soon-to-be-released North American Employee Engagement Update 2012 is based on survey responses of more than 3,500 employed professionals – 2,616 of whom reside in North America. It presents five levels of engagement: Engaged, Almost Engaged, Honeymooner & Hamsters, Crash & Burners, and Disengaged. The recommendations focus on the roles and responsibilities of executives, managers, and individuals in driving engagement every day. A video explanation of the engagement model can be found at .

The survey was conducted between March and June 2012, and results were compared to data gathered in 2010 and 2007. More than half of respondents hold executive, management, or supervisory titles.

About Blessingwhite: BlessingWhite is a global consulting firm with key expertise in Leadership Development and Employee Engagement. Based in Princeton, NJ, with locations in London, Chicago, San Francisco and Melbourne, the firm has worked with nearly three million professionals in thousands of organizations since its founding in 1973.

Contact: Joan Dasher, Employee Engagement Practice Vice President for BlessingWhite, +1.301.593.7800 , or Mary Ann Masarech, Employee Engagement Practice Leader, +1.203.368.6694, .
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Joan Dasher

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