This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

October 31, 2007

Dissatisfied US Workers

Recent data published on workforce attitudes suggest a continued disconnect between employers and employees. This disconnect relates to the effectiveness of various employee retention tactics, including financial compensation, benefits, and work/life balance programs. Over three-quarters of the 3,152 employed adults surveyed view healthcare benefits (78 percent) as crucial to retaining them. Almost as many people viewed compensation (75 percent) as critical. Furthermore only 34 percent and 26 percent respectively are currently satisfied with these components of their jobs.

Recently conducted by Harris Interactive in conjunction with the staffing company Spherion, "The Emerging Workforce® Study" provides comprehensive and historical data on workplace trends and measures workers' views on evolving workplace values and job satisfaction, including what fosters company loyalty and increased productivity. The Study also shows that 29 percent of workers say their companies have put less effort into retaining employees and only 13 percent say their employers have put in more effort to keep them on their jobs.

"Our Study indicates some very troubling trends in the employee-employer relationship," says Roy Krause, Spherion® president and CEO. "The workforce is largely dissatisfied with employers' efforts on the factors most important to them and that will keep them in their current jobs."

If they intend to win the war for talent, employers must not only understand, but adapt to their employees' evolving needs and attitudes toward work. Particularly among the younger workers, employees are redefining their ideas of "career success" and valuing aspects like life/work balance programs, providing comprehensive benefits, appropriate financial compensation, and secure work environment fostering creativity and participation.

The "emergent worker" is self-reliant, highly confident, and seeks personal and professional development. Professionally, nearly every worker surveyed preferred jobs allowing them to think creatively (96 percent) and requiring an innovative approach to tasks (91 percent). Personally, employees say the most attractive workplaces are those that help meet family obligations through flex-time, job sharing, telecommuting, and other life/work balance programs.

Sixty-four percent of workers now state that job stability and security are important facets of work, probably the result of continued economic and political uncertainty.

Certainly, a wake-up call for employers!

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