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FLIGHT RISKS

Half of US workers are actively job hunting or mulling a change

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Reuters/Carlo Allegri
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In a survey last June, Prudential Financial found that about a quarter of US respondents planned to leave their employer once the risk of the pandemic had decreased. Well, here we are—covid restrictions in the US are lifting, offices are reopening—and sure enough, 22% of participants in Prudential’s newest survey say they are already hunting for a new role.

Another quarter of the respondents, while not actively searching, are thinking about looking for a new employer.

Combined, the percentage of workers who might be considered flight risks this year are similar to what we saw in 2021, when several global and US surveys found that up to half of workers wanted to change jobs that year.

In other words, the Great Reshuffling is not over.

What can companies do to convince people not to quit?

Nearly a quarter (22%) of respondents in the latest survey said they had already switched jobs during the pandemic. Is there anything employers can do to stem the tide?

Prudential found that 71% of Americans who say they’re looking for a new job would consider staying put for better pay. The second most common answer (28%) was a better retirement plan. But almost as popular as an improved 401(k) benefit was more flexibility over scheduling (27%).

Overall, one in five workers said they would consider accepting a pay cut to achieve better work-life balance. For these employees, a little more rest and control over their own time was worth an average of about 10% of their salaries.

Women want more than better pay, though they want that too

A separate survey from Gallup confirms the value American workers place on flexibility and balance in a job, while revealing a divergence in how men and women rank that factor.

When Gallup asked workers what they prioritize when they assess a new role, men and women were almost equally likely to say better pay. This was true for 65% of men and 63% of women. However, Gallup found that only women were likely to value wellbeing almost as much as pay, with 65% of women checking the box next to work-life balance compared to 56% of men.

“The factors that women are considering when deciding whether or not to take a job, they’re considering with more intensity,” Kristin Barry, director of hiring analytics at Gallup, told the Washington Post. “It really is a ‘both, and.’”

Slightly more than half of women (52%) also said they looked for a diverse workforce when evaluating a job, making diversity the fourth most commonly desired job condition for women. For men, the fourth most sought-after feature was that the company’s covid-19 policies aligned with their personal beliefs.

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