3 Ways To Know The Difference Between ‘Employee Nesting’ And Company Loyalty

Employees are increasingly "nesting" in their current roles, staying longer due to the stability provided by employers. However, this outward behavior can be deceiving. Business leaders may mistake this "nesting" as loyalty to the company and see it as employee retention when in reality, it could be something else.

Statistics show that up to 51% of workers are actively seeking or watching for new job opportunities. Additionally, 79% of employees feel they must perform out of fear to prove they are working, while many are simultaneously job hunting. Keeping employees long-term requires continuous effort and careful planning. Employers need to do more than just offer a stable job - they need to ensure employees feel appreciated, have growth opportunities, and feel a sense of belonging to the company.

I spoke with Kristen McGill, the Chief People Officer at ZayZoon, who explained the importance of employers remaining vigilant about retention rates. I asked her if "nesting" is positive or negative, and what can be done about it. She provided three key actions leaders can take:

1. Build the right culture. Employers should focus on creating the right culture and internal programs to take advantage of lower turnover from "nesting." This gives employers a chance to make a positive impact and double down on the employee experience, fostering long-term retention and growth, even if it looks different for different people. Investing in attractive benefits and development opportunities can demonstrate a commitment to employees' needs and offer more job security in a fluctuating market.

2. Look for the signs. Signs of "nesting" can vary, but significant behavioral changes should be taken as a signal that something is not quite right. Employers should be proactive in offering new challenges and opportunities, and work to understand what would be a better fit for the employee. Building a culture of high performance and clear expectations can also help prevent "nesting" in the first place.

3. Distinguish between "nesting" and loyalty. "Nesting" employees are content where they are, while loyal employees are active contributors looking to grow within their role and drive impact. Engagement surveys can help employers spot the differences and identify potential warning signals early on. Employers should not mistake "nesting" for loyalty, as this could risk losing the 51% of workers who are actively seeking new opportunities.

The key is for employers to focus on creating a better culture and programming that prevents "nesters" from getting too comfortable, and instead fosters long-term engagement and growth. 

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