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Big mindset divide between employers, employees, ADP survey says

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There’s a huge divide between the way employers and employees think about jobs, according to a recent ADP Research Institute study.

The study focused on understanding what workers consider when deciding whether to stay in their current role or look for a new one.

The findings, published in “Evolution of Work 2.0: The Me vs. We Mindset” and “Fixing the Talent Management Disconnect: Employer Perception vs. Employee Realty in the U.S. Midsized Market”, shows employees focus on work environment, meaning in their job and want immediate advancement opportunities — which the findings referred to as the “me” mindset. On the contrary, employers concentrate on the bigger picture, like financial performance, reputation and the long term career path — the “we” mindset.

The study suggested the “me” vs. “we” divide is most apparent in employee retention.

According to the ADP Workplace Vitality Report, 27 percent of U.S. workers change jobs annually. The ADP National Employment Report also shows that more than 940,000 jobs have been added since January of this year, bringing the unemployment rate to 4.4 percent in April.

According to ADP, 17 percent of workers are actively looking for new jobs and 46 percent are passively looking — that’s half (63 percent) of an employer’s total workforce that is open to leaving. Employers are overestimating the amount of employees actively looking (26 percent), the survey says, but are underestimating how many are passively looking (23 percent).

"ADP's economic reports on employment and wages show if employers can't meet the needs of their employees they can easily look for new jobs elsewhere," Jan Siegmund, chief financial officer, ADP, said. "In addition, employers face a perfect storm of sorts when it comes to keeping top talent. While they focus on efforts to be an employer of choice, face paying higher wages, and more, their employees can use technologies that make it easy to essentially browse for new job opportunities."

Retention, according to the survey, is a struggle for employers.

The survey suggests 47 percent of employees at midsized companies would leave their current role for a job that matched their current salary or even paid less. This shows that wage growth is not the only thing people consider when looking for new opportunities.

The "bait-and-switch" tactic will only go so far when employers are hiring, the survey suggest, with 47 percent of employees saying they have walked away from a job that did not their expectations.

"Employees say they are more likely to stay with a company if their experiences in-role align with the expectations agreed to when hired  and if they understand how their role helps to achieve business goals. But when a position shifts away from that understanding, employees are already thinking of leaving,” Ahu Yildirmaz, co-head of the ADP Research Institute, said.

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Emily Bader

Emily Bader


Emily Bader is the Web Editor and Social Media Coordinator at NJBIZ. She is a Brielle, N.J. native and a Rutgers University alum. You can contact her at emilyb@njbiz.com.

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R May 12, 2017 3:45 pm

As long as employers want employed-at-will staff, they have to accept the downside that employees will walk-at-will.

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