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Employee Retention & Attraction

What We Measure
We measure employee retention and attraction trends, as well as employee perceptions of their current job climate, to help organizations more effectively retain and attract top talent.
Intent to Leave
To what extent are you currently looking for a different job than the one you have now?
Watching For or Actively Seeking New Job
Why it matters

Why Do Employee Retention Metrics and Attraction Research Matter?

Delving into employees’ openness to new job opportunities reveals their intent to leave (or stay at) their current organization.

As leaders seek to retain and attract talent, understanding more about employee perceptions of the job climate and why they choose to leave or join an organization is critical. Employers can evaluate how these details relate to their own culture to create strategies for curtailing turnover, attracting top talent and keeping their star employees from being wooed away.

State of the Global Job Climate

Would you say now is a good time or a bad time to find a quality job? See what employees everywhere say in the charts below.

Notice that after reaching a record high in of 70% in mid-2022, U.S. employees' belief that now is a good time to find a quality job steadily declined to 2019 levels by mid-2023. Much like the cooling job market, this reversing trend may signify a return to "normalcy" after record hiring surges, or it may signal early signs of trouble ahead amid recession fears.


Likelihood to Recommend and Intent to Leave

Employees can be some of your best brand ambassadors or worst critics, influencing your potential customers and talent. Would your employees recommend your organization as a great place to work?

Employees who are watching for new job opportunities or actively looking for another job may be ready to leave your organization.


Top Reasons for Leaving a Job

Why are employees leaving their employer? We asked U.S. employees to identify their primary reason for leaving their previous job.

"Pay/Benefits" is the most common single reason employees left their job in 2023, despite that response decreasing the most since 2022 among all individual factors. Yet, "Pay/Benefits" was identified only 16% of the time as the primary reason people left their job -- meaning organizations need to focus on a different set of employee needs to prevent the other 84% of departures.

Looking at the top reasons in isolation can be misleading. When we classify all of the reasons people give for leaving an employer into larger categories, as shown in the table below, we see that the theme of "Engagement and Culture" is by far the most prominent (41%), followed by the theme of "Wellbeing and Work-Life Balance" (28%).

Together, these two areas of dissatisfaction make up 69% of the total reasons employees left their employer in 2023. That means four times as many people left their job due to "Engagement and Culture" or "Wellbeing and Work-Life Balance" reasons, compared with the number of people who primarily left for better "Pay/Benefits."

Attributes That Attract Employees to a Different Organization

Creating an inspiring employee value proposition is about more than fixing what is dissatisfying your workforce.

Effective employee attraction and retention strategies require both an understanding of what people are looking for in a great career and the follow-through of bringing that employee value proposition to life.

Below is a list of the top factors that attract people to their next job. Note the similarities between the reasons employees leave a job, as shown above, and the importance of the factors that most often attract them to an opportunity somewhere else.

Leaders and managers should capture these types of insights for their organization through pulse surveys, exit surveys and stay interviews to assess their current employee experience and hone their employee value proposition.

What else draws employees to new opportunities? Below is the full list of factors that Gallup studies, ranked by importance, to reveal what matters most to employees who are considering taking a job with a different employer.

Global data are collected using the Gallup World Poll, which has conducted surveys of the world’s adult population, using randomly selected samples, since 2005. The survey is administered annually in person or by telephone, covering more than 160 countries and areas since its inception. Gallup’s global wellbeing data reflect the responses of adults, aged 15 and older, who are employed for any number of hours by an employer.

The 2015 U.S. data come from Gallup’s Q12 Client Database, Gallup Panel studies or Gallup Daily tracking. See Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report, published in 2017, for more details.

The more recent U.S. data are results for the Gallup poll of U.S. employees, based on self-administered web surveys of a random sample of adults who are aged 18 and older, working full time or part time for organizations in the United States, and members of the Gallup Panel. Gallup uses probability-based, random sampling methods to recruit its Panel members. Gallup weighted the obtained samples to correct for nonresponse. Nonresponse adjustments were made by adjusting the sample to match the national demographics of gender, age, race, Hispanic ethnicity, education and region. Demographic weighting targets were based on the most recent Current Population Survey figures for the aged 18 and older U.S. population. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

In line charts on this webpage, Gallup labels some data points with a year and month. Years that have only one data point labeled with the year and "Jan" (abbreviated for "January") reflect annual survey results. Years that have one data point labeled with a specific month besides January or that have multiple data points labeled with specific months reflect results obtained during the noted month(s). When Gallup’s survey field dates for one data point occur in more than one month, Gallup labels the data point with the ending month.

Full wording for the intent to leave survey item is as follows:To what extent are you currently looking for a different job than the one you have now?

  • I am actively looking for another job.
  • I am watching for opportunities, but not actively looking.
  • I am not looking for another job.

Full wording for the survey item on primary reasons for leaving the previous job is in the comprehensive table called, “The Four Most Common Themes for Leaving a Job in 2022.” Results for some responses were combined. Item wording for some responses was shortened in the table showing the primary reasons U.S. employees voluntarily left their company.

Full wording for the survey item on reasons for taking the next job is as follows:Please indicate how important each of the following is to you when considering whether or not to take a job with a different organization.

  • It allows me to have greater work-life balance and better personal wellbeing.
  • It significantly increases my income or improves my benefits package.
  • It allows me to do what I do best.
  • It provides greater stability and job security.
  • The organization is diverse and inclusive of all types of people.
  • The company/organization has a great reputation or brand.
  • It allows me to move away from a bad manager or leader.
  • It gives me greater autonomy in my work.
  • It provides the option to work remotely from home some of the time.
  • It allows me to work for a greater cause.
  • Their COVID-19 vaccine policies align with my beliefs.
  • It accelerates my professional or career development.
  • Their COVID-19 policies for wearing masks and social distancing align with my beliefs.
  • It provides the option to fully work from home all of the time.
  • The organization’s record on protecting the environment
  • It allows me to work in a new location, such as a country or city that I have always wanted to work in.
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Next Steps

How Does Your Workplace Compare?

Global and regional data tell a story -- but what you choose to do with the knowledge you gain from your own organization’s data shapes its unique story. Visit the resources below for solutions and next steps:

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