American workers are deeply unhappy and unmotivated and their employers are viewed with increasing disfavor, according to the recently released What’s Working survey by consulting firm Mercer. Nearly one in three (32%) of U.S. workers is seriously considering leaving his or her employer at the present time-- up from 23% in 2005.
The intention to quit is up across all employee segments, with the youngest workers most likely to be considering quitting. Of employees age 25–34, 40% want to walk and of employees 24 and younger, 44% reported they were considering a job change.
And that is not all. Another 21% said they view their employers very unfavorably when it comes to the factors that create worker loyalty, commitment and motivation. Mercer calls the combination of these important factors “engagement” and defines it “as a psychological state in which employees feel a vested interest in the company’s success and are both willing and motivated to perform to levels that exceed the stated job requirements. It reflects how employees feel about the overall work experience – the organization, its leaders, the work environment, and the recognition and rewards they receive for their efforts.”
Among other key findings:
- Base pay is by far the most important element of the employment deal, but U.S. workers now show lower satisfaction with base pay (53% satisfied, down from 58% in 2005).
- 68% percent of employees rate their overall benefits program as good or very good, down from 76% in 2005, while 59% say they are satisfied with their health care benefits, down from 66%.
“The business consequences of this erosion in employee sentiment are significant, and clearly the issue goes far beyond retention,” said Mindy Fox, a senior partner at Mercer and the firm’s U.S. region leader.
“Diminished loyalty and widespread apathy can undermine business performance, particularly as companies increasingly look to their workforces to drive productivity gains and spur innovation,” she added.
Mercer is a global provider of HR and related financial advice, products and services, including outsourcing.