Troubling Trends in the Employee-Employer Relationship

Only one out of every two employees at your company is satisfied, and most simply think they deserve more.

According to a new Spherion study, 29% of workers say their company has put less effort into retaining employees and only 13% have put in more effort to keep them on the job.

Many employees say the most attractive workplaces are those that help them meet family obligations through the use of flex-time, job sharing, telecommuting, and other work/life balance programs.

However, Spherion’s fifth Emerging Workforce Study of 3,152 employed adults found a disconnect over the effectiveness of various employee retention tactics such as financial compensation, benefits, and work/life balance programs.

For example, over 75% view healthcare benefits or compensation as most crucial to retention, whereas only 34% and 26%, respectively, are currently satisfied with how their companies actually implement these components of their job.

Creativity and Participation

Recruiters, at least, seem to understand this dilemma among workers. In a weekly poll conducted last month by ERE, 29% of recruiters voted that flexible work schedules were the best way to improve productivity and cut turnover. Another 26% voted that benefits/compensation were the keys to these issues.

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“It is imperative employers not only understand, but adapt accordingly to their employees’ evolving needs and attitudes toward work if they intend to maintain current talent levels through skill shortages,” Spherion chief executive officer Roy Krause said in a release.

“While employees are definitely redefining their idea of ‘career success’ and putting a premium on things like work/life balance programs, providing comprehensive benefits, commensurate financial compensation, and a secure work environment that fosters creativity and participation will always be critical to long-term employee retention,” said Krause.

By the Numbers

The study also dug up the following employee attitudes:

  • 96% of workers prefer jobs that allow them to think creatively.
  • 91% of workers prefer jobs that require an innovative approach to tasks.
  • 64% of workers say their level of commitment to their employer is based on the promise of long-term job security.
  • 62% of workers say they have confidence in making a living outside of the traditional/corporate work structure and becoming a contractor, free agent or contingent worker (an increase of eight percentage points from 2003).
  • 31% of workers plan to look for a new job in the next year.
  • 61% of workers plan to work until they are 65 or older.
  • 37% of workers say they don’t have the training needed to meet their career goals.

Elaine Rigoli has nearly 15 years of experience managing content and community for various B2B and consumer websites. Elaine has written thousands of business and technology articles and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal and eWeek, among other publications.

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