A greater share of employees are thinking about leaving their employer this year than last, according to the “2022 Inside Employees’ Minds” study by Mercer. It found 36% of employees are considering leaving, up from 28% in last year’s study.
Employee groups that tend to be more likely to consider leaving include lower-income employees — those who make less than $60,000 per year — as well as frontline workers and underrepresented employees .
In addition, Mercer’s findings show significant declines in employee satisfaction and commitment across the board since last year, most noticeably in compensation, benefits and career goals.
“During the pandemic, organizations that led with empathy and prioritized health and flexibility saw the benefits through employee commitment, engagement and productivity. But 2022 has brought new challenges — inflation, labor shortages, a war in Ukraine and more,” Adam Pressman, US employee research leader at Mercer, said.
“It’s clear now more than ever that employees are prioritizing their well-being now,” Pressman said. “The top three reasons employees consider leaving their employer are pay and benefits, burnout due to workload and insufficient healthcare benefits. For some, especially frontline and low-income employees, that means financial survival. Others who have their basic financial needs met, are placing increased importance on their lives outside of work.”
Overall, 62% of employees say they’ve reduced spending, and a third say they’ve reduced savings or tapped into savings to supplement their spending needs. Low-income employees are the most vulnerable to inflation, as pay levels often fall below living expenses. Nearly one in three employees making less than $60,000 per year say they’ve taken on additional work to supplement their income.
Mercer’s study also found that, in terms of burnout, 51% of employees reported feeling exhausted on a typical day at work.
Following pay and workload, employees report insufficient healthcare benefits are the next-top reason they would consider leaving their employer. Sixty-eight percent of employees report challenges with getting the care they need, with the top challenge being trouble affording the healthcare costs that aren’t covered by health insurance plans, such as deductibles and co-pays. More than 60% of employees purchase healthcare services outside of their insurance plan, with the top item being prescription drugs, 31%.
In good news, the survey also found some improvements in diversity, equity and inclusion practices, most notably, an 8-percentage point increase in Black and African American employees who say they feel a sense of belonging to their team (up to 74%), according to Mercer. However, a greater number of underrepresented workers are considering leaving their employers, especially Hispanic, Latino and LGBTQ+ workers.
The study included 4,049 full-time employees in the US working for organizations with more than 250 employees. It was conducted between Aug. 26 and Sept. 9.
Source: Staffing Industry Analysts