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Factors Impacting Attraction and Retention of Employees Eve Sprunt, PhD Consultant 1

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Presentation given to the Committee on Geological and Geotechnical Engineering, Board of Earth Sciences and Resources, National Research Council of the National Academies Meeting, May 29, 2014 Open Session

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Page 1: Factors impacting attraction and retention of employees

Factors Impacting Attraction and Retention

of Employees

Eve Sprunt, PhD Consultant

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Page 2: Factors impacting attraction and retention of employees

Motivation for Surveys Impact of Nancy Hopkin’s 1994 survey

of the lab space allocated to female faculty at MIT relative to their male colleagues

Shift emphasis from individuals to demographic groups

Reveal bias and demographic trendsManagement is data-drivenKey drivers for management are

attrition and retention2

Photo of the tape measure now in the MIT Museum that Prof. Nancy Hopkins used to demonstrate bias against female faculty

Page 3: Factors impacting attraction and retention of employees

SurveysSociety of Petroleum Engineers Surveys

2013 social media survey on factors impacting attraction and retention with 1737 responses, SPE Paper #168112

December 2011 of SPE members under age 45 with 1392 responses, SPE Paper #151971

May 2011 of entire SPE membership with 5570 responses, SPE Paper #160928

Society of Exploration Geophysicists (2013) Almost 1600 responses, The Leading Edge (April 2014 and

July 2014)

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Page 4: Factors impacting attraction and retention of employees

Professional Society Surveys• Exit interviews are notoriously inaccurate• Professional societies can ask questions that employers may fear are too invasive• But people are more reluctant to divulge personal information in surveys distributed

through social media than those coming by email from a professional society

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Survey Distribution Total Women Men No Gender

# % # % # %

2013 Retention Survey

social media 1737 422 24% 875 50% 440 25%

Dec 2011 SPE under age 45

emailed 1392 428 31% 947 68% 17 1%

May 2011 SPE members

emailed 5570 774 14% 4078 73% 718 13%

Page 5: Factors impacting attraction and retention of employees

Factors Impacting Employees

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• Pain-gain balance• Opportunities to gain• Pain – hostile work environment• Factors to reduce the pain (e.g. better work-

life integration)

Page 6: Factors impacting attraction and retention of employees

Work-Life Balance• People are motivated by opportunity. • Satisfaction with work-life balance depends on opportunity

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Page 7: Factors impacting attraction and retention of employees

Critical MotivatorOpportunity or Insufficient Opportunity are the biggest drivers for people to join or leave an employer.

For older people, Opportunity is still the most important factor, but not by as big a margin over other factors.

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Page 8: Factors impacting attraction and retention of employees

Top Reasons for StayingFor Both Men and Women Under Age 40

Same Top 4 Reasons Opportunity, challenge, career potential Develop new competencies & grow into a

position with new responsibilities Respect Good Pay

But top 4 account for only about 25% of “most important” reasons 8

Page 9: Factors impacting attraction and retention of employees

Why People LeaveSlide 9

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Page 10: Factors impacting attraction and retention of employees

Why People LeaveSlide 10

Agreement between men and women on top five reasons• Insufficient opportunity• Develop new competencies• Leadership/direction of company• Better fit to core competencies• For better pay

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Page 11: Factors impacting attraction and retention of employees

Gender Differences in Reasons for Leaving

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Under age of 40

Men rank as more important• Lack of recognition• Self-employment• Severance pay

Women rank as more important• Conflict with boss• Inflexible work schedule• Follow relocated partner• Conflict with co-

workers

Are conflicts with supervisors and co-workers more common and/or

more severe for women?

Page 12: Factors impacting attraction and retention of employees

Different Ways of Making ComparisonsSlide 12

• We compared different groups in both by how they ranked the factors and by the difference in the percentage labeling a factor “most important.”

• “Conflict with boss” was a big percentage difference, but a small ranking difference• “Follow relocated partner” was significantly different both ways 12

Page 13: Factors impacting attraction and retention of employees

Gender Differences in Reasons for LeavingSlide 13

• Women are more likely to leave because of conflict with their boss and to follow their partner

• Women more likely to follow relocated partner• Men are more likely to leave to be self

employed

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Page 14: Factors impacting attraction and retention of employees

Workforce of the Future

20 -24 25 - 29 30 - 34 35 -39 40 - 44 45 -49 50 - 54 55 -59 60 -640%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

Dual Career Couples in the Petroleum Industry The Emerging Majority

Men Women

Age

% o

f Gen

der i

n Ag

e Br

acke

t

Dual career couples dominate

People were surveyed as individuals, not as couples

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Page 15: Factors impacting attraction and retention of employees

PartnersMeet mate at school or at workOften same discipline Female petroleum engineers more likely

to have a petroleum engineer as their partner than their male peers

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Page 16: Factors impacting attraction and retention of employees

Couples of “Equal Earners”

Relative earnings important in decision making

Women more likely to be in couple of “equal earners”

Younger men more to be in an “equal earner” couple

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From 2013 Survey of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists with nearly 1600 responses

25 to 29 30 to 34 35 to 39 40 to 44 45 to 49 50 to 54 55 to 590%

5%

10%

15%

20%

25%

30%

35%

40%

45%

50%

Society of Exploration Geophysicists Survey"Equal Earners" - 40% to 60% Household Income

Men Women

Age Range

% G

ende

r in

Age

Rang

e

Page 17: Factors impacting attraction and retention of employees

Form of Invisible DiversityHow much each person contributes to household income impacts:Balance of power in relationshipFamily priorities

Protect both incomes Household duties Childcare

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Page 18: Factors impacting attraction and retention of employees

Gap in UnderstandingSingle breadwinner may have difficulty understanding

the lifestyle and priorities of dual career couplesMen under age 40:

Dual career men more likely to leave because of working too many hours or conflict with their boss

Other men more likely to leave for better pay and benefits

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Page 19: Factors impacting attraction and retention of employees

Willingness to Relocate

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Equal Women Equal MenDominant Women

Dominant Men

% Yes Rank % Yes Rank % Yes Rank % Yes Rank

Anywhere if asked 3% 16 13% 12 4% 16 11% 13For a promotion 37% 5 33% 7 39% 8 33% 6For international experience 54% 2 49% 2 52% 4 49% 2To gain valuable experience 59% 1 55% 1 55% 2 49% 1To a better location from a personal perspective 43% 4 48% 3 55% 3 44% 4For more money 35% 7 40% 4 58% 1 47% 3

To a location where my partner can find work 50% 3 37% 5 41% 7 21% 9To avoid unemployment 36% 6 37% 6 51% 5 41% 5

SEG Survey: Relative appeal of 18 conditions Big differences are potential

sources of conflict

Page 20: Factors impacting attraction and retention of employees

Equally Important CareersSPE and SEG surveys - about 80% of equal earner

men and women consider both careers to be equally important.

Managers don’t want to “waste resources” on people who they do not consider fast track material

Some managers - essential to have the employee decide which career is more important

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Page 21: Factors impacting attraction and retention of employees

Whose career comes first?Women more likely to be asked than menWomen with children 2x as likely to be asked

as men with childrenWomen with children working for the same

employer as their partner 2X as likely to be asked as equivalent man

Men and women with children 2X as likely to be asked if they work for same employer

If not asking, what is the supervisor assuming?

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Page 22: Factors impacting attraction and retention of employees

Working for Same Employer

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Advantages

• Coordinate relocation• Ease in picking home

location• Easier childcare• Coordinate travel• Coordinate daily

schedule

Disadvantages

• Employer requires that one career leads and the other follows

• Benefits reduced• Employer coordinates

careers as a couple• Job security

Page 23: Factors impacting attraction and retention of employees

Why People Left Petroleum IndustryTop 3 reasons for women:

For more interesting work Insufficient opportunity To live in a location I like betterTo “take care of my child/children was in 7th place behind several “opportunities”

Top 3 reasons for men: To live in a location I like better Retirement Terminated and couldn’t get another job

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Page 24: Factors impacting attraction and retention of employees

Glass Ceiling & Work-Life Balance

Many women don’t start becoming frustrated with their rate of advancement at work until they are in their 30’s.

If a mother thinks that her opportunities are limited, she may decide that the rewards of working are not sufficiently attractive.

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Page 25: Factors impacting attraction and retention of employees

Gender Differences in Reasons for Staying

Under age 40Women consider the following factors to be much more important than their male peers Flexible work schedule Good relationship with co-workers Trust in organization and management

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Page 26: Factors impacting attraction and retention of employees

Incentives to Return to Workforce

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A chance to make a difference Part-time work Telecommuting

Of 20 possible incentives, 3 were most enticing for people of all ages who had left

the workforce

Retirees Mothers

Page 27: Factors impacting attraction and retention of employees

Insufficient Opportunity

Exclusion from the “fast track”• Lack of a sponsor• Conflict with supervisor• Conflict with co-workers• Communication issues• Unwillingness to relocate• Perceptions of insufficient dedication to career

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Page 28: Factors impacting attraction and retention of employees

Perception of Opportunity

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Page 29: Factors impacting attraction and retention of employees

Conclusions

Pain-gain balanceSense of opportunity is critical Hostile work environment major factor for those

impactedWorkforce of the future will be primarily

composed of dual career couples for whom relocation and child-rearing are big challenges

Work flexibility can alleviate the pain side of the balance to improve employee satisfaction

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Page 30: Factors impacting attraction and retention of employees

Questions

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