Digital Transformation

Why 22% of US employees are willing to quit over relocation policies

The rise in digital workplace habits is pushing employees out of the office. Here's why relocation is vital to employee retention.

With the number of US job openings surpassing the number of available workers, companies need to retain their employees now more than ever, according to a Thursday report from Wakefield Research. But the growth of the digital workplace is putting retention at risk, and employees are seeking transfer or relocation options as technology evolves, the report found.

The report surveyed 100 US senior HR and talent mobility executives, as well as 500 US adults employed full-time. Among those employees, 22% reported previously quitting a job because they were denied the opportunity to relocate to another branch or location.

SEE: Digital transformation: A guide for CXOs (Tech Pro Research)

Even if companies don't have the funds to relocate an employee, there are still ways to try and retain workers. Nearly half (48%) of employees said they would stay within their companies—without increased pay or benefits—if given access to open positions within the company before they are posted publicly, said the survey. However, the majority of professionals (70%) said they believe branch relocation would advance their careers, even without a raise or promotion, the report found.

Companies tend to be in favor of relocation, according to the report: Nearly all (94%) of HR executives said they are aware that mobility is vital for increasing diversity, attracting new talent, and retaining valuable employees.

The problem is oftentimes a simple miscommunication, said the survey. Some 41% of professionals said they don't even know if relocation options exist in their companies, and 43% said they are attracted to different job positions in their companies, but don't know how to access those opportunities.

However, 99% of companies do offer transfer or relocation programs, said the survey. While organizations may not be able to say yes to every single employee requesting movement, strategies to take advantage of these policies do exist.

Those companies that do have mobility opportunities in place use metrics to track performance and find talent (70%), internal feedback systems for employees to share interest in relocation (69%), internal communication to discover open positions at other locations (68%), and in-house relocation assistance programs (67%), said the survey.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • Nearly one-quarter of US employees quit their jobs over relocation issues, but 41% of employees don't even know if relocation options exist in their companies. —Wakefield Research, 2018
  • This lack of communication is a major contributor to employees leaving, because 99% of companies do have relocation programs, but just don't advertise them. —Wakefield Research, 2018

Also see

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Image: iStockphoto/anyaberkut

About Macy Bayern

Macy Bayern is an Associate Staff Writer for TechRepublic. A recent graduate from the University of Texas at Austin's Liberal Arts Honors Program, Macy covers tech news and trends.

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