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Work/life balance is top reason women stay on the job

Thursday, September 13, 2012  
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Work/life balance and enjoying what they do top the list of reasons women stay with their current employers, according to a recent survey by the American Psychological Association.

Fewer women cited tangible benefits -- including salary and job opportunities — for staying on the job.

The Workforce Retention Survey, which was conducted among 1,240 employed U.S. adults age 18 and older, examined the factors that contribute to employee retention. More women than men cited both work/life fit (72 percent vs. 62 percent) and enjoying the work (72 percent vs. 63 percent) as reasons they stay with their current employers.

When it comes to relationships at work, women were more likely than men to say they stay with their current employers because of their co-workers (55 percent vs. 48 percent), their managers (46 percent vs. 34 percent) and their connection to the organization (59 percent vs. 53 percent). Smaller differences were found between the percentages of women and men who reported staying at an organization because of the benefits (61 percent vs. 59 percent), the pay (57 percent vs. 62 percent) and their job giving them the opportunity to make a difference (49 percent vs. 52 percent).

"Americans spend a majority of their waking hours at work and, as such, they want to have harmony between their job demands and the other parts of their lives,” says David W. Ballard, head of APA’s Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program. "To engage the workforce and remain competitive, it’s no longer sufficient to focus solely on benefits. Today, top employers create an environment where employees feel connected to the organization and have a positive work experience that’s part of a rich, fulfilling life.”

The survey found working Americans age 55 and older were the most likely to cite enjoying the work (80 percent), work-life fit (76 percent), benefits (66 percent), feeling connected to the organization (63 percent) and having an opportunity to make a difference (57 percent) as reasons for staying with their current employers. Employees age 18 to 34 were least likely to say enjoying the work (58 percent), work-life fit (61 percent) and benefits (54 percent) keep them on the job, but the most likely to endorse co-workers (57 percent) and managers (46 percent) as reasons to stay. More than two-thirds (67 percent) of respondents age 35 to 44 cited pay as a reason for staying at an organization, more than any other age group.

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