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71 Percent of Workers Want a New Job

Topics: Data & Research
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If you’re looking to change jobs, you’re not alone. According to the 2017 Mind the Workplace report, 71 percent of respondents said they were actively pursuing new opportunities — or spending significant time at work thinking about looking for a new job.

The report, which was produced by the nonprofit Mental Health America and The Faas Foundation, surveyed over 17,000 U.S. workers in 19 industries.

Why Are Workers Eager to Make a Move?

In short, many of today’s workers feel underpaid, underappreciated, and under-supported. The report’s findings showed that:

  • Only 22 percent of respondents felt that people in their company were paid what they deserved.
  • 77 percent said that some workers at their company were being unfairly recognized while others with better experience or skills went unrecognized.
  • 74 percent said that their companies were “overly focused on trivial activities” and/or had “overly bureaucratic policies.”
  • 81 percent said that job stress affected their relationships with family or friends at least some of the time.
  • 63 percent said that they tended to work alone because their workplace was either unhelpful or outright hostile.

What Workers Want

“We know that employees who are overstressed and under-supported can significantly impact the people around them and a company’s success,” said Paul Gionfriddo, president and CEO of MHA, in a statement reported by The Ladders. “…Interestingly, our research found that recognition overall was more important than salaries in employee satisfaction – which means even small companies with limited budgets can improve workplace health and productivity by focusing on the individual in addition to the bottom line.”

Even just saying the words “thank you” can have a big impact on workers’ job satisfaction. In one survey, 76 percent of respondents said they just wanted that recognition and acknowledgement of their contributions.

And then there’s the fact many companies that offer market wages do a not-so-great job of communicating that to their employees. Even when employers pay below market, better communication makes workers feel appreciated.

“We discovered that transparent conversations about money can actually mitigate low pay,” wrote Dave Smith, Chief Product & Strategy Officer at PayScale, at Harvard Business Review. “So, if an employer pays lower than the market average for a position, but communicates clearly about the reasons for the smaller paycheck, 82% of employees we surveyed still felt satisfied with their work.”

Does this mean that you don’t care about money? Not at all. It just means that for most workers, money is only one part of the piece of the puzzle. They also value having employers that respect them, appreciate their contributions and communicate with them openly about pay and other factors. Support from management and a little work-life balance go a long way toward improving job satisfaction.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

Tell Us What You Think

Are you looking for a new job? We want to hear from you. Tell us your story in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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