Survey Shows Disconnect Between Workers and Bosses

Monster LogoA survey released this morning says employers are fooling themselves believing workers are content simply to have a job.

According to the survey conducted by Monster and Human Capital Institute, 84 percent of employers indicated they thought their were workers content because they were working. However, only 58 percent of workers said that.

For workers, the disconnect extends to their feelings about their workload, the longer hours required of them, and their willingness to give their employer the benefit of the doubt for layoffs.

“Today’s employers feel that employees are loyal due to the economic times, but the reality is they are not,” said Katherine Jones, HCI Research Fellow. “Because of this, there is a strong likelihood that when the economy turns for the better, employers could find themselves with valued employees jumping ship. This places pressure on them to put retention measures in place now.”

Monster and HCI conducted the survey in May and June to assess the impact of the recession on workers and companies. More than 700 companies and almost 5,000 passive and active job seekers participated, responding to questions about their attitudes to work, employees, their post-recession expectations, and purchasing plans.

Survey chartThe three-part report examines the recession’s impact from the worker’s and employer’s perspective and how the government’s stimulus program may change the workplace.

While the survey showed employers understood their workforce morale has slipped and stress is up because of the recession, it also shows that employees believe their bosses are taking advantage of the situation. Among the findings:

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  • 57  percent of workers believe employers are exploiting the recession to drive longer hours and lower pay from their workforces;
  • Only 26 percent excuse their employers for requiring layoffs and longer hours because they believe their employer’s hands were forced by the recession;
  • 58 percent believe employers are less concerned about employee retention, and 50 percent of workers are more concerned about top performers leaving than before the recession;
  • 53 percent have a decreased company loyalty;
  • 79 percent are more likely to be seeking jobs elsewhere.

Each of the three parts offers insights and conclusions drawn from the survey results. Equally as important is the glimpse the overall report offers of the future: Boomers won’t be retiring in the numbers once thought, thus offsetting, at least partially, the worker shortage; younger people are likely to be more inclined to seek recession-proof or at least recession-resistant jobs or self-employment, and; the general skepticism of Gen Y toward corporate America may be passed down to the following generation.

Perhaps most immediately, there may be a mass turnover of employees, especially of top performers, once companies begin hiring again.

Fifty-eight percent believe employers are less concerned about employee retention, and 50 percent of workers are more concerned about top performers leaving than before the recession.

John Zappe is the editor of and a contributing editor of John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.


5 Comments on “Survey Shows Disconnect Between Workers and Bosses

  1. Even though this seems pretty obvious, it’s nice to finally have data to support the feelings of many corporate workers–and to show leaders the consequences of taking advantage of their employees. A recession is no excuse to treat people poorly and work them to the bone for little or no reward.

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