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Employers Unfazed by Workers’ Intent to Quit

Contact:Jennifer Jones
[email protected]


NEW YORK, March 21, 2013—U.S. employers seem unfazed by workers’ intentions to seek a new position, according to a survey of nearly 1,000 companies by AMA Enterprise, a division of American Management Association. Sixty-nine percent of respondents see nothing new in employees keeping an eye out for new opportunities. But one-quarter concede that turnover is a growing workplace issue and expect many employees to move on to a new job as soon as they can.

Many employees have expressed their intention to seek a new position. How do you regard such sentiments? It’s nothing new for employees to keep an eye out for new opportunities, and I don’t regard the present situation as something unusual— 69%

This is a growing mind-set among our employees, and I expect many to seek a new job as soon as they’re able— 24%
This is a prevalent attitude among our employees and an urgent issue our organization needs to address— 7%


“At most of the organizations surveyed senior management doesn’t yet see turnover as an urgent issue,” said Sandi Edwards, Senior Vice President of AMA Enterprise, which provides organizations with assessment, measurement and tailored learning solutions. “Are they being dangerously complacent? Or perhaps they’ve gotten used to hearing threats to leave from those who have felt overworked or underappreciated during the economic downturn.”

In your opinion, how urgent does your senior management regard the potential or actual turnover situation?

Very urgent— 9%
Somewhat urgent— 30%
Not so urgent— 39%
Not at all urgent— 22%

“The lack of focus on turnover tells me that many top-level executives are not tuned in to the widespread worker dissatisfaction found in so much recent research,” noted Edwards. “Intent to leave is a key indicator of engagement and commitment to the organization. If management wants the best out of its people, they need to be aware of their stress and contribution levels. Management needs to work with them individually to understand what will meet their career goals along with what has to be done to drive the organization forward.”

The real challenge is not about overall turnover, but retaining those employees with critical talent and future potential, believes Edwards. “Forward thinking companies are seeking out these people and providing them with opportunities to stretch, grow, and contribute their unique strengths. This form of employee development clearly demonstrates to these high value employees that they are important members of the organization and integral to future success. This is key to retention.”

The survey was conducted from December 18 to January 6 and respondents consisted of 977 senior-level business, human resources, management professionals and employees drawn from the AMA database.

With more than 85 years’ experience and headquartered in New York, American Management Association is a global leader of comprehensive talent development. AMA Enterprise, a specialized division of AMA dedicated to building corporate and government solutions, transforms enterprise-wide talent to fuel a culture of innovation, high performance and optimal business results.
Media Contact:  Phil Ryan, 845-339-7858, [email protected].

AMA is one of the most widely recognized leaders in business training, having provided corporate training solutions for over 95 years. From leadership, communication and managerial training to sales, customer service and analytical skills, AMA has developed a vast array of content and training solutions to help individuals and organizations achieve business results . Each year, AMA delivers thousands of seminars and courses across the United States. With courses offered in a  classroom near you or live online, AMA is a flexible, convenient resource for all of your organization's talent development needs. AMA also offers customized solutions based on your specific talent development requirements.