"Here's The Brutal Truth" - Malaysian Shares Why He Thinks Employees Job-Hop

"It boils down to two things; knowledge and remuneration."

Cover image via Domain

In the recent years, employees, especially millennials, have been slapped with a multitude of stereotypes and the most commonly heard one is their penchant for job-hopping

In an article by Forbes earlier this year, Wes Gay writes that there are plenty of credible surveys that state how millennials are more likely to leave their current jobs in the next few years.

While there's plenty of buzz around why people job-hop and how it's making employee retention difficult for employers, questions are also being raised on why employees choose to job-hop.

Shedding light on the matter with a popular opinion, Facebook user Joe Najib, says that salary is a crucial deciding factor on whether employees choose to stay or leave their current employers

"So here's the brutal truth."

"There are very few companies that give (decent) yearly increments to their employees, enough to make them stay put, or resist the temptation to leave after being courted by other companies for their talent," read the post by Joe on Facebook.

He explained that starting from the mid-2000s, resumes that show an individual has frequently switched jobs - "once every two years", are usually pegged as a negative aspect during interviews.

"This candidate has no loyalty. No staying power. Easily give up. Chasing remunerations and salary. Well. They're right on that last reason though," said Joe. His post has more than 1,000 likes and over 400 shares to date.

"We're not loyal to you. We're loyal to our salary."

"Stop paying your employees and see if they stay, in the name of 'loyalty'. Or just announce a forced pay-cut across the board."

Comparing the current job trends with that of his father's time, Joe says that the days when employees stay in the same job for most of their life is a thing of the past. "Like my father who had been with New Straits Times (NST) for over 40 years. It was his first and only employer."

This is contrary to how the longest he had stayed in an advertisement agency is only for three years. He explains that he only stayed for that long because of his passion for the job and his great employers, which pushed him to not realise that his salary had remained stagnant during those three years.

"It was only when I started moving from one agency to another that I was able to make up for loss grounds, salary-wise. I moved once every two years (sometimes even shorter) after that."

"And I was offered nothing less than a 15-20% increment with every move. From an economic standpoint, that made more sense than to stay on and get a 3-5% hike. IF at all. Surety vs. possibility? I'd go for the former," Joe wrote.

Joe says that the likelihood of employees switching jobs is also affected by the nature of their jobs - if it's highly routine based, they are more likely to crave a newness which pushes them to look for new jobs

"And if your work is mechanistic in nature - come in, switch on computer, check emails, reply emails, see clients, argue with clients, see vendors, argue with vendors, prepare presentation, go for presentation - all this happening before heading out for a quick mid-day bite, only to go through that process again for the second half of the day, all the way till midnight, and repeat that same process the next day - you too will be frothing at the mouth after a few years."

"A new workplace resets the excitement clock. New faces, new environment, new culture, new processes, new clients, and new challenges = to renewed energy and enthusiasm. And to top it off, new (and higher) salary," opined Joe.

He said that only when he started hiring his own subordinates, he understood why people switch jobs. Thus, he doesn't consider it as a negative trait when hiring, but added that a referral check with their former employees is a must.

"And I'm proud to say that very few of my subordinates have ever left my team. Because I understand them. My hierarchy with them is linear. And I guide them and teach them new things, new ways to problem-solve. Every. Day," said Joe.

He also made it a point to impose a strict ruling that his employees should always think of solutions when they are faced with a problem. He said that it helps to empower them and expand their ability to think independently.

Joe says that it all comes down to two important factors, namely:

1. "Knowledge - the moment employees stop learning new things at the workplace and they start muttering the "same s##t different day" phrase, it's a sign.

2. "Remuneration - if your company is doing well, share more of that wealth with those who made it happen for you, rather than stuffing upper-management pockets that are already full."

He said companies can even consider giving out half-year bonuses and incentives to their employees if they are doing well.

Advising employers to not jump to conclusions about a potential employee's loyalty, Joe stressed that it is important that companies take note of the individual character, his/her talents and how it will benefit their organisation, and what sets their company apart from the one the individual just left.

Joe ended his post with a golden Richard Branson quote that pretty much sums up his thoughts - "Train your employees well enough so that they can leave. Treat them well enough so that they don't want to."

Why do you think employees switch jobs? Let us know in the comment section below.

Joe's thoughts on this matter matches up to the findings from a recent survey by global recruiting firm, Hays:

Wondering what entry-level job pays the most in Malaysia? Read this:

In the midst of this, Malaysian fresh graduates have been accused of attitude problems and having unrealistic salary expectations:

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