3-Year Low for Employee Engagement yet Employers Clueless
A recent article in USA Today titled Workers eager to job hunt as morale plunges highlights the reporting of a recent study that reveals findings that employee engagement and loyalty is at a three-year low, but many employers have no clue as to the dismal state of affairs.
Employers think that employees are just as engaged and loyal as they were three years ago. The findings from the 9th Annual Study of Employee Benefits Trends conducted by MetLife shows that many employees, more than one in three surveyed hopes to be working elsewhere in the next 12 months. The intent to leave by employees is found in companies of all sizes. Employers have been benefiting from a period of low turnover and have become less focused on employee job satisfaction and retention. Many employers are clueless as frustrated workers are griping, groaning and secretly sending out resumes and interviewing.
Doing More with Less Backlash
The MetLife Study also reveals employees are working even harder in this tough economy. The push during this recession to “do more with less” has benefited employers as businesses of all sizes have experienced productivity gains over the last 12 months.
But these productivity gains have not been seen as favorable by employees, and they are beginning to grow frustrated and look to head out the door when the economy recovers.
Even though we are experiencing signs the economy is improving, employees are still staying in place. Many suspect the concerns with the financial impact of the recession is the cause. One thing is certain, there is a “satisfaction disconnect.” Employees are feeling overworked and under appreciated, 40% of employees report that they worked harder in the last 12 months, and 25% feel less secure in their jobs than they did a year ago. Employees are burnt-out and say they are hoping to be working elsewhere else soon.
An Exodus of Highly Skilled
This impending exodus is projected to hit hard employers who have to pay for recruiting and training replacements, and deal with the lost productivity while seeking replacement employees. More than half of employers report difficulty attracting employees with key skills, according to a recent report released by Towers Watson. Skilled worker shortages are being experienced in more than the nursing sector.
As a consequence to employers, top performers are expected to receive a 3% merit-based pay raises on average as employers attempt to prevent their exodus. Many project the merit increases will not be enough to stop this most coveted group of employees from stepping out from their current employer.
No Foundation… No Growth
An engaged and loyal workforce is a required foundation for business growth. Organizations of all sizes are expected to be limited in their ability to expand out of this recession as they experience lower employee retention and productivity when the economy improves.