The survey, which is a compilation of nearly 18,000 interviews of current and former Express clients throughout North America, finds that leaders are troubled with three main areas of performance: connecting with employees, conducting effective performance reviews and understanding shifting generational values. Still, 77 percent of respondents believe retention was not or only a slight issue in 2011.
"We're seeing a major miscommunication happening between employees and employers," says Robert A. Funk, CEO of Express. "Employers are not recognizing that they have a retention problem while employees are not only open to new job opportunities but actively seeking them."
Walter Bond, a motivational speaker, recently worked with Express about improving accountability and developing strong leadership qualities, where he made it clear that both the employee and employer must practice open communication.
"As a company leader you cannot micromanage," Bond says. "If you allow employees to own what they do, they'll take better care of it."
The survey also finds that 79 percent of respondents say more than half of their employees are seeking rewards, and 68 percent of respondents say more than half of their employees are looking for higher salaries. Despite this, only 17 percent of respondents have recently restored earlier salaries or given raises.
"Strong leadership is imperative right now," Funk says. "Employers need to take advantage of the many resources available, including flexible staffing, hiring assistance and various training programs."