Opinion
Recruitment & Retention Opinion

Why Are You Still In Your Job?

By Emily Douglas-McNab — September 06, 2012 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

According to a recent American Psychological Association (APA) Workforce Retention Survey of more than 1,200 Americans with full-time and part-time jobs, “despite uncertainty in the job market, the top reasons working Americans say they stay with their current employers are work-life fit and enjoying what they do.” Specifically:

• 59 percent of respondents noted that they remain with their current employer because of the pay; • 60 percent of participants said that they stay in their job due to benefits; • 67 percent of people believe their jobs fit well with the other aspects of their lives; • 67 percent of those surveyed explained that they stay in their jobs because they enjoy the work they do; • And 39 percent noted a lack of other job opportunities as the reason for remaining with their current employer.

While these findings appear encouraging, we have no way to know how employee performance impacts the numbers. If the 39 percent of respondents who cited a lack of other opportunities for staying with their current employer are the highest performing staff in an organization then “Houston, we have a problem”. APA also compiled interesting statistics based on the gender and age of survey respondents. This information can be valuable for K-12 talent managers in designing programs to meet the needs of different staff demographics. How?

Imagine that you are the Chief of Human Resources for Monterey Falls Preparatory Academy (a district that I just made up). Based on a recent survey of staff, you know that:

• Twenty-five percent of staff, including many of the highest-performing educators in the building, are not satisfied with the professional learning opportunities available to Academy employees. • The majority of staff, or approximately 60 percent, are generally satisfied with their employment situation; • Fifteen percent of employees, including several of the lowest-performing educators at the Academy, desire higher salaries.

Some might argue that no major changes are necessary for staff at the Academy because the majority of those surveyed indicated that they are satisfied with their current employment situation. I believe the more important number is the 25 percent of largely high-performing staff who seek additional professional development programs. Effectively responding to their needs not only increases the chance that the best and brightest employees will stay at the Academy, but more learning opportunities will help educators at all levels improve their practice.

By digging deeper into APA’s results, we can see how age impacts what workers want.
• Employees 18-34 years old were least likely to say enjoying the work (58 percent), work-life fit (61 percent) and benefits (54 percent) keep them on the job, but the most likely to endorse co-workers (57 percent) and managers (46 percent) as reasons to stay.
• More than two-thirds (67 percent) of respondents ages 35-44 cited pay as a reason for staying at an organization, higher than in any other age group.
• Working Americans age 55 and older were the most likely to cite enjoying the work (80 percent), work-life fit (76 percent), benefits (66 percent), feeling connected to the organization (63 percent) and having an opportunity to make a difference (57 percent) as reasons for staying with their current employers.

What does this data show us? There is no fix-all solution for engaging and retaining every group of employees. HR programs must be blended to fit the organization’s culture and the needs of different staff subgroups. David W. Ballard, head of APA’s Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program, says that, “To engage the workforce and remain competitive, it’s no longer sufficient to focus solely on benefits. Today, top employers create an environment where employees feel connected to the organization and have a positive work experience that’s part of a rich, fulfilling life.”’

How is your district using staff feedback to shape HR programs and other organizational decisions?

The opinions expressed in K-12 Talent Manager are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
What’s Next for Teaching and Learning? Key Trends for the New School Year
The past 18 months changed the face of education forever, leaving teachers, students, and families to adapt to unprecedented challenges in teaching and learning. As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Curriculum Webinar
How Data and Digital Curriculum Can Drive Personalized Instruction
As we return from an abnormal year, it’s an educator’s top priority to make sure the lessons learned under adversity positively impact students during the new school year. Digital curriculum has emerged from the pandemic
Content provided by Kiddom
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Recruitment & Retention Many Feared an Educator Exodus From the Pandemic. It Doesn't Seem to Have Happened. Yet.
A RAND Corporation survey of district leaders finds that predictions about principals and teachers fleeing their jobs haven't panned out.
5 min read
People form two lines in front of an Exit sign
E+/Getty
Recruitment & Retention Schools Pay a High Price for Low Teacher Salaries
Teacher turnover rates are rising and more than half of teachers said a salary hike could persuade them to stay in the classroom longer.
4 min read
Conceptual image of salary.
Collage by Laura Baker/Education Week (Images: iStock/Getty)
Recruitment & Retention How 'Grow-Your-Own' Programs Are Helping Recruit Teachers of Color
Learn which strategies are working to recruit and support future teachers of color.
6 min read
Diverse team builds a geometric shapes structure together
Rudzhan Nagiev/iStock /Getty Images Plus
Recruitment & Retention Understaffed School District IT Departments Are a Big Problem. Here's One Way to Solve It
An Oregon district needed bilingual support staff to help Spanish-speaking families manage virtual learning. It didn't need to look far.
4 min read
A worker passes public school buses parked at a depot in Manchester, N.H., Monday, April 27, 2020. New Hampshire public school children continue to be taught with remote learning, while buildings are closed to students through the end of the academic year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
In school districts across the country, buses sat idle through much of the past year. Some districts turned to bus drivers or other support staff to fill IT jobs.
Charles Krupa/AP