The 2012 Aflac WorkForces Report indicates 49% of U.S. workers are at least somewhat likely to be searching for a new position this year. In addition, most of the employees who indicate they are extremely or very likely to leave their jobs characterize themselves as the kind of workers their company needs to retain to continue to be competitive in a tight economy.
As a business owner, understanding what helps employees feel they are valued is important. The study explains that employees who are extremely or very satisfied with their benefits programs are none times more likely to remain with the company than ones who don’t like the benefits program. The study continues by saying 76% of workers indicated they’d be at least somewhat likely to take a new job that had a more robust benefits program and a lower salary. 50% of workers say the benefits plan is very or extremely influential in their desire to remain with the company.
"Employers should be concerned that after several years of recession and a very slow recovery, their top talent has a pent-up desire to leave for what they believe to be greener pastures," says Audrey Boone Tillman, executive vice president of corporate services at Aflac.
"It's been an employer-driven market for a number of years and businesses watching their bottom lines may not have taken care of employees as well as they did before the recession. However, demonstrating they care and showing appreciation in ways that are meaningful to their employees are the most important actions company leaders and HR executives can take to prevent their best workers from walking out the door," says Tillman.

As the business owner, it’s important to realize that many of these retention factors can be influenced by your communications plan. For example, the Aflac study states 1/3 of employees who don’t believe retaining employees is an important priority for their employer say they are likely to leave the company. Your HR communications can have a big effect on employee morale and retention. Your communication can also help make employees aware of the aspects of the benefits programs. If you employees only receive a benefits package overview when they are hired, they may not know about recent additions to the plan. Recent trends include adding health maintenance benefits like weight loss, stress management and curbing tobacco use. If you’ve added these benefits, but your enrollment rates are low, focus on your training and communications. Let your health providers come in and help explain the plans through learning sessions and on-site evaluations.

Modern Business Associates is an HR company that focuses on payroll and HR outsourcing. We routinely work with clients on recruiting and retention. As a Professional Payroll and HR outsource organization, our clients rely on us to help them effectively deal with these kinds of topics.