Magazine article Workforce Management

Worker 'Deal' Is Off

Magazine article Workforce Management

Worker 'Deal' Is Off

Article excerpt


I'VE BEEN traveling a bit recently, so I'm a little late in getting to this survey from the good people over at Towers Watson, the global HR consultancy.

Late or not, this survey - depending on how you look at it - is either eye-opening news or simply a reconfirmation of what we have all known to be true about employer-employee relations for a long time.

Here's how the firm's press release puts it:

"The 'Great Recession' may have ended, but its impact on the U.S. workforce and employment itself looks to be deep and long lasting, according to the results of new research from global professional services company Towers Watson. The Global Workforce Study (GWS) - a biennial survey of employee attitudes and workplace trends - confirms that the recession has fundamentally altered the way U.S. employees view their work and leaders today, while dramatically accelerating changes to the basic social contract that underpins employment here. In stark contrast to earlier Global Workforce Studies, the 2010 results indicate that U.S. employees have dramatically lowered their career and retirement expectations for the foreseeable future. On-thejob advancement now takes a back seat to a growing desire for workplace security and stability - at the very point in time when traditional employment safety nets are eroding."

Here are some of the fmdings:

* The long recession and jobless recovery have soured workers on the concept of the "free-agent nation." Some eight out of 10 respondents say they want to settle into a job. Roughly half say they want to work for a single company their entire career, while the rest say they want to work for no more than two or three companies.

* Some 56 percent of the U.S. workers expect little change in the job market over the next year. Twenty-eight percent anticipate a continued deterioration in the employment picture.

* More than half (51 percent) of those surveyed said there are no career advancement opportunities in their current roles. An additional 43 percent believe they would need to leave their current organization in order to advance to a higher-level job.

* Despite these obstacles to career advancement, 8 1 percent of respondents said they are not actively looking for another job.

* When asked about the most important factors in a job, more workers chose a "secure and stable position" (86 percent) than "substantially higher levels of compensation" (74 percent). …

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