Employees on the move – 71% of employees are looking for a new job at any given moment

It seems that this title wasn’t completely made up by a sci-fi author, but is actually the result of a study that was conducted in 2017 among 17,000 employees from 19 different industries. This study was conducted by two non-profit organizations Mental Health America and the Faas Foundation.

The study showed, among other things, that 71% of employees are not happy with their jobs and are looking for new employment opportunities, where the 2 main reasons for their dissatisfaction were lack of recognition and support, and unreasonable stress. This, according to The Ladders.


If you think about it, it actually sounds pretty predictable, doesn’t it?



1. Lack of support and recognition from employers and colleagues – Employers, as it turns out, do not give the necessary recognition that employees are interested in and feel they should receive. Colleagues, it would seem, have forgotten that support and recognition do not cost anything:

  • 64% of employees claimed that their employers do not give them enough support during challenging work periods.

  • 66% of employees said that they can only rarely count on colleagues for support.

  • 45% of employees said that they either “rarely” or “never’ get compensation according to what they expect they should receive “always” or “usually”. This refers strictly to their salary, not taking into consideration bonuses, benefits, or any kind of unusual and specific labor.

So far, we can say, hooray to recognition and mutual assistance.


2. Too much pressure in the workplace – Pressure in the workplace is a subjective term that changes from one employee to another. However, the big numbers speak for themselves:

  • Close to 66% of employees claimed that their work has “a considerable effect on their emotional and mental health”.

  • 63% of the employees who participated in the study claimed that in many cases pressure and work overload drive them to unhealthy behaviors such as drinking alcohol or going into fits of crying.

  • 120,000 (!) cases of death which take place in the workplace occur, according to evidence, due to the excessive pressure created by exaggerated demands from employers in various fields of responsibility. This according to a study conducted at Harvard and Stanford universities.

Excessive pressure in the workplace may create long periods of absence, together with problems in employees’ mental capacities. Paul Gionfriddo, the president and CEO of the MHA (see above), said that employees who are under great deals of stress, and who do not receive ample support from their employers, can have a detrimental effect on their colleagues, and on the chances for success in the workplace.


The main question that arises from these troubling findings is whether a change in employers will really solve the problem, when so many employees in the market are unhappy? That is debatable.


However, this study proves how important it is for employers to notice their employees, to give them feedback on the go, and to examine how they can help them in balancing their various tasks. It seems that the traditional methods for employee assessment, which strictly measure working hours or technical performance metrics are not satisfactory.

It seems that there is a real need for innovative methods for employee assessment, which will be based on professional concrete metrics, and on softer skills that employees develop on the job, and which are an integral part of employees performance quality. By creating a broad employee assessment system that combines hard data with soft skills, it will be possible to give employees the feeling that they are actually valued in their organization. In this way, it will be possible to coordinate expectations and give in depth feedback to employees, which in turn will bring about a rise in motivation for the organization, and will decrease employee churn and employees’ move to other organizations.



(based on an article published in the Washington Post, 19.10.2017)

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