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Report: Employee sentiment rebounds, likely reducing exits

Written on Apr 12, 2024

Employee sentiment increased during the first quarter of 2024, indicating a rebound after a steady decline during the last three quarters of 2023, according to an April 4 report from Eagle Hill Consulting. 

The turnaround signals that workers may be less likely to leave their jobs in the next six months, according to the report. “This rebound in employee sentiment means employers now may have some breathing room as extreme labor shortages are easing and job quits are receding,” Melissa Jezior, president and CEO of Eagle Hill Consulting, said in a statement. 

“It may be easier to fill jobs, perhaps we’ll see a ceasefire on employee bidding wars, and fewer employees will resign. Under those conditions, productivity can improve, as can the bottom line,” Jezior said. “However, this does not mean employers should retreat from monitoring their employee sentiment and managing employee engagement initiatives because economic conditions can change quickly.” 

The index showed that year-over-year employee sentiment remains down compared to the first quarter of 2023, which was the index’s highest reading to date. 

The index tracks employee sentiment across four drivers of retention: organizational confidence, culture, compensation and job market opportunity. During the first quarter, the organizational confidence indicator — which indicates employees’ confidence in leadership and stability — saw the largest increase among the indicators. 

Culture and compensation indicators also increased, while the job market opportunity indicator remained stable. 

When it comes to retention, more than half of employers have pointed to employee satisfaction, mental health and emotional support as top priorities, according to a January report from the Integrated Benefits Institute. Companies may need to balance quality benefits programming with cost management, as well as account for diverse needs. 

At the same time, employee experience expectations have reached an all-time high, which has become a major threat to talent retention, according to a separate report. There appears to be an ongoing disconnect between what employers believe they’re offering and what employees say they’re actually experiencing. 

In addition, employer perceptions of employee engagement may differ from reality, according to a Gallagher report. In response, companies can conduct worker sentiment surveys, create clear career pathways, implement a comprehensive internal communications strategy and provide learning and development opportunities, experts have suggested. 

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