A new index released today from Randstad finds a majority of U.S. employees are highly engaged and happy in their jobs – despite predictions that many workers will seek new jobs once the job market strengthens. According to the Randstad Employee Attachment Index, more than 78 percent report feeling inspired to do their best at work; 76 percent are proud to work for their companies and 66 percent enjoy going to work every day. Likewise, employee volatility is decreasing with 60 percent of respondents reporting they are unlikely to give consideration to or accept a new job offer in the next six months.
The Randstad Employee Attachment Index finds both employee engagement and retention levels are fairly high and trending upward, along with employees’ level of attachment to their employer, which rose five points from March to June 2011. The Attachment Index provides insights into how attached employees are to their employer based on employee engagement and retention levels. Employee “attachment” is achieved by combining engagement and retention strategies to create a stronger bond with employees. Employers who focus on employee attachment levels within their organizations will benefit because strong attachment can lead to greater employee motivation and ultimately increased productivity and profitability.
While attachment is strengthening, Randstad’s research finds that almost a third (29 percent) of the most highly engaged employees are likely to seriously consider a new job within the next six months. Nearly 30 percent more of these most engaged workers would accept a job if offered in the next six months.
“Understanding how your workforce is segmented in terms of engagement levels is important in keeping the highly engaged workers retained and motivated,” said Eileen Habelow, Ph.D., Randstad’s senior vice president of organizational development. “If an organization is going to be able to compete and be profitable in this economy, companies need to look out for those indispensible employees first. These top notch people are too valuable to lose, so knowing the warning signs that they may leave and what to do about it is critical.”
The Randstad Attachment Index looks at employee engagement and retention levels as well as employers’ perceptions of their employees’ attitudes. Any disconnects can help employers predict volatility among their workforce. Findings show that employers overestimate how their employees feel about their jobs, particularly when it comes to feeling the company shares their values (an 18-point difference between employers and employees), trusting the leaders of their organization (an 18-point difference between employers and employees) and enjoying going to work every day (a 15-point difference between employers and employees).
Similarly, eight in 10 employers are confident that their companies’ environment and culture help keep their best people on staff, and seven in 10 report that their organizations utilize programs and incentives to retain top talent. Yet, 51 percent of employers also report struggling to keep their best employees from leaving. Employees rank inadequate pay (38 percent), high stress levels (24 percent) and lack of opportunities for advancement (23 percent) as the top three considerations for changing jobs.
Employees also “graded” their employers’ commitment to their workforce. Twenty-six percent of employees gave their companies a “D” or an “F” when it came to motivating them to go the extra mile and offering opportunities for advancement. Thirty-eight percent also do not believe their companies are making the right workforce investments for the future.
Identifying At-Risk Talent
Understanding and identifying levels of employee engagement is tricky for employers. By analyzing employees’ engagement and retention, it is easier to spot employees who are at-risk but still very valuable to an organization. The most optimal group of attached employees is those with high engagement and high retention – this accounts for 22 percent of the workforce. Workers with both low engagement and low retention make up 17 percent of the employee findings.
The most valuable at-risk group of employees are those with high to moderate engagement and low to moderate retention levels. This population of valuable and desirable employees at the most risk to leave makes up 36 percent of employees overall – a high number of workers at risk. Identifying these at-risk populations will help make employers aware of possible problems and be better equipped to design and implement impactful programs focused on keeping the most valuable employees.
Additional Key Findings
Components of Employee Attachment - Retention:
- 29 percent of the most highly engaged employees are likely to seriously consider a new job within the next six months.
- 23-point gap exists between how important employees versus employers feel good pay and benefits are for organizations to show their commitment to employees.
- 51 percent of employers report struggling to keep their best employees from leaving.
- 71 percent of employers have trouble finding the right people for the right positions.
Components of Employee Attachment - Engagement:
- Top two priorities impacting how employees feel about their job: feeling recognized and valued and enjoying going to work every day.
- Most employees give high grades to their organizations for making sure employees have the tools and technology they need (59 percent gave employers an “A” or “B” grade) and for making employees feel valued (49 percent gave employers an “A” or “B” grade).
- Just under two-thirds of employees (64 percent) feel that their organization has met the expectations they had when they first started at the company.
- More than half of employees (59 percent) feel more loyal and committed to their companies now than when they first started.
View the executive summary of findings from the Employee Attachment Index.
The Randstad Employee Attachment Index is comprised of findings from two waves of research targeting employers and employees. In the first employer wave, a national sample of more than 534 employers was interviewed online in March 2011. In the second wave, 546 employers were interviewed online in June. Participating employers work full-time at a company with at least 50 employers and are involved in hiring decisions.
In the first employee wave, a national sample of 1,010 adults who were employed full-time were interviewed online in March. In the second wave, a national sample of 3,436 full-time employed adults were interviewed online.
Weighting was used to balance demographics and ensure samples reflect the U.S. population of working adults.
Employees and employers were surveyed to compare notable differences in perceptions and attitudes. Two separate waves of research allow for trending and to track changes in perceptions and attitudes over time. Research into employee attitudes and perceptions will be conducted quarterly. Research into employer attitudes and perceptions will be conducted on an annual basis.
For more information, please contact Sara Leutzinger via email or 404.870.6829.