Nearly Half of Happy Employees Are Angling to Quit

A new survey reveals that contrary to popular belief, a happy employee isn’t always a committed and loyal employee.

Just because an employee is engaged and happy with their job, organization, pay, benefits, opportunities, management and other various work aspects, doesn’t mean they aren’t searching the Internet for a new job.

That’s according to the latest Inside Employees’ Minds Survey from global consulting firm Mercer.

The survey, which included responses from more than 3,000 workers who represent a cross-section of the U.S. workforce, found that more than 40 percent of employees who report being very satisfied with their job (42 percent) and their employer (45 percent) are actually looking to quit.

The survey finding upends the natural assumption that a satisfied employee is active, engaged and loyal.

“The survey confirms what employers have been seeing first-hand — a workforce in transition and, increasingly, one on the move,” Patrick Tomlinson, a talent leader at Mercer, said in a statement. “The new twist is that the inclination to leave is increasingly detached from employees’ satisfaction with jobs, pay and even growth opportunities. Employers need to shift their talent strategies to understand the modern terms of engagement from the most productive employees.”

Overall, about 37 percent of workers, regardless of whether they’re happy or not, are looking to leave.

Why do happy employees want to leave and work somewhere else? According to CNN Money, the survey didn’t ask the question and unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be an easy answer.

Maybe some of it has to do with an increasing sense of job insecurity. A full 42 percent said they were “concerned” or “very concerned” with losing their job.

Maybe some of it has to do with the need for change after rising up the ladder. Senior managers (63 percent) were more likely to be contemplating an exit than middle managers (39 percent) and nonmanagement employees (32 percent).

Or maybe it just has to do with age and the fact that younger workers are still exploring life’s opportunities.

Millennial workers are the most likely (44 percent) to say they’d hit the road if the right job opportunity presented itself.

“The future of successful work relationships between employer and employee will depend on the trifecta of health, wealth and career — and how you make them all flexible to reflect the way people want to work today and what they are looking for in the employment relationship,” Tomlinson added.

Are you surprised that happy employees are looking to bid farewell to their current jobs? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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