The Job-Hopping Fad: Why & How Employers Can Stop It

The Job-Hopping Fad: Why & How Employers Can Stop It

Lifelong employment is a thing of the past.

Today’s employees are more likely to jump ship when they find a job that better satisfies their requirements, and this is particularly common among the younger workforce. While hiring managers used to frown upon job-hopping, it seems that they have changed their minds as job-hopping is becoming increasingly prevalent.

A survey conducted by HR company Robert Half showed that over a quarter (27%) of the 500 respondents planned to look for a new job in 2020. This may be alarming for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), as hiring and retaining employees are often cited as key challenges.

What would talent drain cost employers?

Most employers can attest to the painful cost of losing employees. A 2018 HRM article noted that it can cost a company “up to $11,000 in direct training expenses and lost productivity to replace an experienced employee earning an annual salary of $33,000.” For senior positions, this sum can run up to a staggering 150% of the position’s salary.

Besides the financial costs to the company, there are other intangible costs such as increased workload for the covering employees, as well as the time and energy required to do onboarding for the recruits. Some employees also feel demoralized when they see their colleagues leave.

Successful placement, however, makes only one side of the equation. Once employees are hired, employers should take note of employees’ career goals in order to retain them. Contrary to popular belief, pay is not the determining factor of job satisfaction.

With these in mind, investing in employee retention seems a wise business decision. And this is where the Place-and-Train Programme (PnT) comes into play.

The PnT is a two-pronged approach. Firstly, a structured on-the-job training is jointly developed by employers and e2i to help jobseekers address their skill gaps and move into new career paths. Secondly, e2i addresses employers’ manpower needs by offering recruitment solutions through such initiatives.

Successful placement, however, makes only one side of the equation. Once employees are hired, employers should take note of employees’ career goals in order to retain them. Contrary to popular belief, pay is not the determining factor of job satisfaction.

In this article, PnT beneficiaries share what keeps them happy in their jobs.

Let us look at each of these factors in greater detail.

1. Learning opportunities

It is common knowledge that training is vital for job performance. Research, however, has also shown that training can have positive psychological impacts – it improves job satisfaction and increases employees’ motivation to go to work.

This is why bubble tea chain KOI emphasizes training for new recruits. Their extensive training plans can range from tea brewing, customer service, to even project management.

Ms Mindy Yeo Senior Project Management Office - PMO executive at KOI

Ms Mindy Yeo, Senior Project Management Office executive at KOI

One such recruit who relished the learning opportunities is Ms Mindy Yeo. Previously from the food manufacturing industry, Ms Yeo decided to take the plunge and join KOI as she wanted to try something new. Upon entering the company, she was placed on a PnT programme to help her get up to speed on the responsibilities of her new role.

Ms Mindy Yeo went through three months of on-the-job training which included workshops on tea-brewing and customer service

Ms Mindy Yeo brewing custom tea drinks at Koi

As a senior Project Management Office (PMO) executive at KOI, Ms Yeo went through three months of on-the-job training which included workshops on tea-brewing, customer service and wine tasting.

“The on-the-job training was very memorable. I did not expect tea-making to be so precise, there were specific requirements to make a drink, so I had to learn the formula,” Ms Yeo shares.

Like Ms Yeo, Mr Lee Ping Chun, a service manager at Chinese restaurant Xi Yan similarly expressed gratitude for the 3-month PnT programme he underwent when he joined the company. Bored of his sedentary working environment, Mr Lee switched to the F&B industry after his experience in the hospitality industry and never looked back.

The training at Xi Yan proved to be an invaluable experience and a major reason why he decided to leave an established company to join Xi Yan.

Mr Lee Ping Chun, service manager at Chinese restaurant Xi Yan

Mr Lee Ping Chun, service manager at Chinese restaurant Xi Yan

“During the PnT programme, I learnt how to progressively tap onto others in Xi Yan to support the company through a people management course. As a boss, Thomas (Thomas Choong, Executive Director) is also very convincing in sharing his passions and ideas. He is very good with people management skills and in many different roles. This is one of the reasons why I decided to move from a bigger firm to join Xi Yan.”

As seen from these beneficiaries, it is advantageous for employers to give employees learning opportunities as it enriches their career journey. Employees are similarly appreciative and motivated when employers invest with them.

2. Supportive working environment

Most employees consider a positive working environment as one of the major factors that keep them in a company. This is understandable as employees spend most of their waking hours at work.

Supportive employers allow their employees opportunities for exploration and grant them the autonomy to carry out their work responsibilities. When done correctly, employees have the space to learn and grow.

Supportive employers allow their employees opportunities for exploration and grant them the autonomy

Nurturing a supportive work environment will give employees opportunities for growth

Farhana, a PnT beneficiary of IT solutions company Novitee, expressed her appreciation to her boss for his trust and guidance as she carried out her work responsibilities.

“My managing director, Benjamin Yang, has played an integral role throughout my phase from being an intern to converting as a full-time employee. He is a great mentor who gave me the chance to learn on my own, at the same time was always available to guide me when I could not find the answers or when I faced any obstacles along the way,” Farhana shares.

Perfectionistic tendencies – often manifesting in the form of micromanagement – can adversely impact productivity levels and demoralize teams. As such, it is important for employers to develop a nurturing environment and a no-blame culture for their employees. An accepting environment results in higher job satisfaction and higher retention rates.

3. Career progression

While career progression may not rank high on an SME’s priority list – and some are unsure on how to go about planning for this – the structured training put in place by the PnT programme allows a framework for mutual understanding. Employers are able to chart employees’ progression route and prescribe relevant training while employees are given an idea of what is expected of them, as well as their progression pathways.

The Wok People, an employee cafeteria management company that participated in the PnT programme, knows firsthand about the benefits of coming up with a structured training plan.

The Wok People’s human resource manager Ms Yen Wong noted that the structured on-the-job training makes the onboarding process more organized.

“Now that we have this on-the-job training programme, everyone is put through this programme and they know what is expected of them. The supervisors also know what to teach the new staff, and [how] to guide them,” Ms Wong said.

Ms Yen Wong human resource manager at The Wok People

Ms Yen Wong, human resource manager at The Wok People

Explaining the process of developing the training plan, Ms Wong said that her company developed a task-analysis plan to get staff to acquire different skills by a deadline. The training plan was also sent to e2i for feedback.

“Customer service is an area that [e2i] provided advice to us because we did not pay a lot of attention to it initially. Even though we are not in retail, we have lots of customers who come to eat at our restaurants every day, so customer service is also very important to us,” Ms Wong explained.

In view of this, it pays for employers to keep in mind these three key factors to retaining their employees in the long run.

Is it worth it though?

So why should employers painstakingly invest in employees if they (especially the younger ones) are going to leave for that so-called “variety in experience”? What’s the point then of implementing the factors such as those mentioned above?

If anything, they likely leave with two things:

  1. A reluctance to move on despite knowing they have to and;
  2. A benchmark of what a good company is.

In life – and now in business – you win some and you lose some, literally.

For employers, contact e2i to find out how you can benefit from e2i’s training programmes to address your training and recruitment needs!

For individuals interested in career guidance or job-matching services, make an appointment with our career coach today!

By Elena Owyong

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