Editor’s note: This is the last installment in a special series on what benefit decision-makers can expect in 2015 in five key areas: health care, retirement, wellness, voluntary and attraction and retention. Join the discussion on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, using the hashtag #2015outlook.

With hiring and turnover levels on the rise, employers are now experiencing challenges with both attracting and retaining employees, especially top performers and high-potential employees.

Adding to the challenge is that many employers don’t understand the reasons employees join and stay with a company. While employers understand the importance of base pay and, to a lesser extent, career advancement, many underestimate the significance of trust and confidence in senior leadership as a key retention driver, says Laury Sejen, managing director at Towers Watson.

Also see: Health care benefits in 2015: What employers need to know

A recent Towers Watson survey of 32,000 employees worldwide, including 6,014 from the U.S., revealed that workers rank trust and confidence in senior leadership as the third most important reason they stick with a company.

“If HR is only going to focus on a couple of things in 2015, one should be career management, another would be heightening the effectiveness of senior leadership,” says Sejen, adding that only 40% of employees report being highly engaged at work.

“That 60% [who aren’t engaged] represents an opportunity for companies,” she says.

Also see: Execs say benefits more about retention than attraction

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