Why Nearly Half Of Workers Globally Could Leave Their Jobs In 2017

Managers can help retain their staff by applying these five strategies.

Why Nearly Half Of Workers Globally Could Leave Their Jobs In 2017
[Photo: Hernan Sanchez via Unsplash]

Enjoy spending time with your coworkers this holiday season, because many of them are likely to be gone by this time next year.


According to a recent survey of 3,300 employees across 14 countries by Dale Carnegie Training, 26% of U.S. employees say they will look for a new job within the next 12 months, and 15% are already actively looking for a new job. In total, more than 40% of all employees are at risk of leaving their job in the coming year.

According to this study, a primary reason for leaving is poor management. Researchers found that an employee is nearly 10 times more likely to be very satisfied with their job when they are led by someone they feel is honest and trustworthy. Those who feel that their superiors do not exhibit such behaviors are four times more likely to be looking for a different job. This squares with results from a 2015 report by Weber Shandwick that found a chief executive’s reputation influences employees’ decisions to remain at their company.

The Dale Carnegie study revealed a wide variety of discrepancies between the leadership attributes they want to see in their supervisors and the characteristics they actually exhibit. For example, the study found that 84% of U.S. employees believe it’s important for supervisors and managers to admit mistakes, yet only 51% of U.S. workers say their employer or supervisor takes responsibility for their own actions.

Similarly, 85% of employees believe it’s important for managers to show sincere appreciation, yet less than half say their supervisors do so consistently. Expressing gratitude can be a powerful agent for retention while promoting well-being, according to a meta-analysis of several studies by Harvard Health. The researchers concluded, “Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”

Based on the study, authors suggest five strategies for employers and managers who want to retain some of those staff members that are currently looking for the exit sign.


1.Allow Employees To Save Face In Difficult Situations

Sixty percent of U.S. respondents say that great bosses give employees who have made a mistake or feel embarrassed the chance to recover and do better moving forward.

2. Acknowledge Their Own Mistakes Before Criticizing Employees

Sixty-eight percent of workers said they are motivated by supervisors who are bold enough to recognize their own shortcomings and don’t jump to criticize others.

3. Recognize Improved Performance

Seventy-two percent of respondents say this is one of the most important traits a manager can have.

4. Give Praise And Appreciation

Seventy-four percent of respondents say great bosses praise and express appreciation for an employee’s work.

5. Encourage Improvement

Nearly 80% of respondents say that inspiring leaders encourage and help employees improve.


It is important to note that despite the percentage of employees looking to quit, more U.S. employees are highly satisfied with their jobs than the average across the 14 countries examined in this study, which include Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and the U.K.

An average of 18% of employees across these countries indicated they were very satisfied with their jobs compared with 24% of Americans. Furthermore, while 41% of U.S. employees are looking for a new job or intend to within the next year, that number rises to 45% among international respondents.

Related: Take This Job And Shove It, Say The Majority Of Employees Who Quit

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About the author

Jared Lindzon is a freelance journalist and public speaker born, raised and based in Toronto, Canada. Lindzon's writing focuses on the future of work and talent as it relates to technological innovation, as well as entrepreneurship, technology, politics, sports and music.