In a just-released employee retention survey, only one-third of those polled said they were planning to remain in their jobs this year. The reason? A lack of “engagement,” the researchers noted, adding that this can result in a high rate of turnover and lagging performance rates.

The survey, which polled more than 1,100 workers, was conducted by Achievers, which is an “employee voice and recognition” solution.

The researchers said in the report that “just 19 percent of employees surveyed consider themselves ‘very engaged,’ while 14 percent are fully disengaged.”

Dr. Natalie Baumgartner, chief workforce scientist at Achievers, said the data shows “a substantial portion of today’s workforce already has one foot out the door. This is a huge shift from what we found last year: that despite disengagement, 65 percent of employees were planning on staying at their jobs.”

Baumgartner urged employers to take immediate action “to reverse these feelings of underappreciation and disengagement. If they don’t, the risk of turnover and underperformance in 2020 is immense.”

Other revelations from the survey include that business leadership is “falling flat on culture-building.”

“The perception of leadership’s commitment to culture and employee experience declined, with only 23 percent of employees surveyed stating senior leaders are ‘very committed’ or have ‘more than average’ commitment, compared to 31 percent who said the same in 2019,” authors of the report noted.

One-third of those polled said they feel that their executive leaders are “minimally committed” to culture and employee experience. “This raises serious concerns as it’s up by 7 percent from 2019,” Achievers said in the report adding that 12 percent of employees surveyed “believe leadership in their workplace is ‘not at all committed’ to culture and employee.”

When the researchers sought the top drivers of turnover, “absence of recognition” led the reasons followed by pay and career growth. “Eighty-two percent of employees surveyed ‘strongly’ or ‘somewhat’ agreed they wish they received more recognition at work, and another 30 percent of employees feel ‘not very’ or ‘not at all’ valued by superiors,” the researchers stated in the report.

Aside from a lack of recognition, employees are eyeing the exit door because they’re not feeling heard. “Ninety percent of workers surveyed said they are more likely to stay at a company that takes and acts on feedback, but when asked how good their company was at soliciting feedback, 15 percent said ‘horrible’ and 43 percent chose the second-lowest grade — just ‘OK,'” the report noted.

In a separate research report last year conducted by the King’s Business School at King’s College London along with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, “listening” in the work environment bolstered the level of creativity.

Dr. Dotan Castro, from the Hebrew University’s Federmann School of Public Policy and Government, said in a blog post that the research was “not just to establish the connection between creativity and being listened to, but also to understand the reason for this link.”

Castro said when workers feel listened to, it also “enhances their sense of psychological safety. It may be that this boosts creativity because they can focus more on the creative task; they aren’t wasting mental energy on making micro-calculations about how their manager might respond to what they are saying,” Castro noted.