Forget the Economy: 40% of Workers Are Ready to Find a New Job This Fall

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We all know how the tough economy has forced many, many employees to stay in jobs that they might have already bailed out on in the past.

We also know that a lot of employers have pointed to the Great Recession as the reason why they have cut or frozen salaries, instituted furloughs, trimmed benefits, made wholesale layoffs, and generally pushed their staffs to do a lot more with a whole lot less.

Well, as I have said before, the day of reckoning for all of that is coming. And it may be a lot closer than anyone thinks.

A new survey by Regus, a company that bills itself as a “leading global provider of flexible workplace solutions,” shows that 40 percent of U.S. professionals are considering quitting their jobs after the summer vacation season. The reason? According to the survey, 40 percent of respondents would leave a company if they felt they were lacking communication with management, while 37 percent cited a lack of opportunity for career advancement and promotion, and 34 percent said it was overwork.

Dwelling on the pros ands cons of their job

“As workers pack up their swimsuits this summer, they are more likely to dwell on the pros and cons of the job that is waiting for them at home,” said Sande Golgart, Regional Vice President for Regus, in a press release about the survey. “With reports indicating that as many as 25 percent of company top performers in the U.S. plan to quit their jobs within a year, businesses that are not evaluating the necessary benefits for their staff may face losing some of their best talent.” (Note to readers: Regus hasn’t made the actual survey available on their website yet. I’ll post it here when they do, but here’s the press release about it.)

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Losing talent as the economy improves – and it’s debatable how quickly it is given the current employment trends — has got to be a concern for just about any forward-thinking company. This is especially true given the very mixed message employers are getting from other surveys, and, when employees get a look at the projected 2011 salary increases if they choose to stay around.

“Stress caused by overwork has escalated during the … recession,” Golgart added, “with people working harder and longer to make sure they can pay their bills. Bonuses and job perks were cut back to weather the storm, but as the economy picks up employees will be flocking to businesses that promise them better conditions and not necessarily the biggest salary.”

And that’s the big message from survey; if employees choose to leave and go somewhere else, it’s generally because of something OTHER than pay. Yes, raises and salary cuts are issues, but a lack of promotion, bad communications, and plain old overwork are the more telling factors.

John Hollon is Editor-at-Large at ERE Media and was the founding Editor of A longtime newspaper, magazine, and business journal editor, John has deep roots in the talent management space. He's the former Editor of Workforce Management magazine and, served as Editor of RecruitingDaily, and was Vice President for Content at HR technology firm Checkster. An award-winning journalist, John has written extensively about HR, talent management, leadership, and smart business practices, including for the popular Fistful of Talent blog. Contact him at, connect with him on LinkedIn, or follow him on Twitter @johnhollon.