For Immediate Release

Dec 19, 2006
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HR Professionals Concerned About Resignations, Says New Poll from SHRM and

(Alexandria, Va., December 19, 2006)—More than 75 percent of employees are looking for new jobs, according to the 462 employees and 367 HR professionals surveyed in the 2006 U.S. Job Retention Poll released today by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and The Wall Street Journal's . According to HR professionals, on average, 12 percent of their organizations' workforce had voluntarily resigned since the beginning of 2006. Non-management employees were the most likely to resign, according to 71 percent of the HR professionals surveyed.

Seventy-three percent of HR professionals indicated that they were concerned about the voluntary resignations at their organizations. In an effort to retain employees, nearly 50 percent of the HR professionals reported that their organizations had implemented special retention processes.

A greater proportion of organizations were implementing special retention processes in 2006 (49 percent) than in 2004 (35 percent). HR professionals have found that promoting qualified employees, offering competitive merit increases/salary adjustments, and providing career-development opportunities are among the best employee-retention strategies. Although salary increases often are perceived as the most valuable incentive for employees to stay with their current jobs, they also are among the most difficult to provide because although the economy is improving, organizations are still somewhat cautious to increase spending.

"As the economy and job market continue to improve, employee retention poses a greater challenge for HR professionals," said Gail Griffin, general manager, "The top three reasons people voluntarily leave their organizations are for better compensation elsewhere, career opportunity elsewhere, and dissatisfaction with the potential for career development."

"Offering competitive salaries is important to employees, however, compensation alone is not sufficient for a complete retention strategy," said Susan R. Meisinger, SPHR, president and CEO of SHRM. "Career-development opportunities and work/life balance are also important, and employers must consider these types of benefits in their retention practices if they want to maintain or increase retention at their organizations."

Employees and HR professionals agreed on the top reasons employees choose to leave their organizations: better compensation elsewhere (30 percent of employees, 40 percent of HR professionals); career opportunity elsewhere (27 percent of employees, 48 percent of HR professionals); and dissatisfaction with potential for career development (21 percent of employees, 29 percent of HR professionals).

SHRM and conducted the poll to determine opinions about the effectiveness of retention strategies from the perspective of both HR professionals and employees. The poll questions were emailed to randomly selected SHRM members—yielding 367 responses from HR professionals—and a convenience sample of visitors who comprise the employee sample, bearing 462 responses.

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