You are not going to like this — a recent study states that almost one-third of employees surveyed expect to leave for another job within the year. Have you ever put pen to paper on how much it costs your company to recruit, hire and get a new intro employee up to speed? In trying to add up the costs: advertising, retaining executive search firms, interviewing, lost productivity, training, etc., you discover a very costly part of business.

In fact, those who have analyzed the effects of turnover say that as much as 80 percent of its cost is hidden. It is estimated that the average cost to refill an upper management and executives post is 1.5 times the annual salary of the job. Turnover is a fact of corporate life — just ask any HR professional. While turnover can’t be stopped, it can be reduced by identifying and addressing its many possible causes. Unfortunately, employers often don’t even know that their employees are dissatisfied until they receive their resignation notices.

In many cases, employees leave because the job is not living up to their work expectations. Work expectations are those things people consider likely to happen in their job situation, either now or in the future. We create these expectations from a combination of our past work experience, age, gender, personal goals, race and a variety of other factors. Our expectations about work have a powerful impact on our behaviors and play a key role in driving our attitudes.

Typically, certain expectations — such as job duties, salary, and work hours — are clearly understood by all parties in an employment situation. However other expectations are closely linked to an individual’s concept of work and often times go unacknowledged. Examples of these include: personal recognition, self expression and job stability.

In assisting clients in uncovering employees’ work expectations, we were introduced to a commendable tool. Managing Work Expectations – Transforming Attitudes is a unique and highly interactive self assessment created by Inscape Publishing. It is designed to help people uncover and explore their work expectations in a variety of employment situations including:

* working on a team
* transitioning to a new position
* experiencing organizational restructuring
* creating meaningful performance reviews
* making the most of daily routine

Understand that the key concept is personal accountability — even adjusting one’s unrealistic work expectations when necessary — not getting the organization to meet everyone’s expectations. I am so impressed with this tool, that I am beginning to add it to our Big Phat Goals business program. It assists us in supporting clients in managing their employees’ expectations before they become job hindering issues.

Individuals with realistic, well-communicated, clearly defined expectations find more satisfaction and have a greater commitment to their work than people whose expectations go unspoken or unrealized. Organizations that retain and develop satisfied, committed people reap the benefits of higher productivity and reduced turnover. Plus, studies show that where there is low employee turnover, there is low customer turnover. But then, what else would you expect?