Na­ture mat­ters

The Smart Manager - - Nature Matters -

At­tri­tion has al­ways been ex­pen­sive for com­pa­nies, but in many in­dus­tries the cost of los­ing good work­ers is ris­ing, ow­ing to tight la­bor mar­kets and the in­creas­ingly col­lab­o­ra­tive na­ture of jobs. (As work be­comes more team-fo­cused, seam­lessly plug­ging in new play­ers is more chal­leng­ing.) Thus com­pa­nies are in­ten­si­fy­ing their ef­forts to pre­dict which work­ers are at high risk of leav­ing so that man­agers can try to stop them.* Ex­ter­nal fac­tors def­i­nitely in­flu­ence at­tri­tion rates, but what about one’s psy­cho­log­i­cal moor­ings?

Ev­ery hir­ing man­ager has en­coun­tered job hop­pers. Many loathe hir­ing them—and rightly so—be­cause it makes the process time-con­sum­ing and ex­pen­sive for the com­pany. Such job-jump­ing can­di­dates are of­ten per­ceived to be self­ish, dis­loyal, and im­pa­tient.

But what is it that makes one can­di­date more prone to switch­ing jobs than the next? Is there any way to pre­dict whether a per­son is more likely to stick to a job than flee af­ter a short ten­ure? Is the job-hop­ping ten­dency a trait that one is born with, or a prod­uct of the en­vi­ron­ment? In other words: na­ture or nur­ture?

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