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Survey: Fewer workers love their job

Fewer American workers (72%) love their job just as much or more now than they did in 2009 (78%), according to a recent survey conducted by Adecco Group North America (www.adeccousa.com), a recruitment and workforce solutions provider. Additionally, only 39% feel appreciative of having a job, compared to 55%feeling this way a year ago. According to the survey authors, these results may suggest a renewed “war for talent” in the coming months.

The survey also found:

• Gen Y is falling out of love with their jobs. More than a quarter (26%) of Gen Y workers are nervous about the instability of their job and 27% love their job less than last year, nearly a 10% jump over the 16% who felt this way last year.

• Younger generations may go back to school. Twenty percent of Gen X and 17% of Gen Y workers are thinking about going back to school.

• Gen X are most likely to rethink their careers. If workers had the option to start their careers over again, about half (51%) would change their current profession, particularly Gen X workers. Fifty-six percent of them said they would start over compared to only 38% of older adults.

• Less appreciation and confidence in management. Similarly to 2009, workers’ perception of company leadership continued to wane as only 7% of workers noted the economic situation had positively impacted their confidence in their executive team versus 90% in 2009. Additionally, there’s less appreciation for bosses as only 10% of workers appreciate their boss more in 2010 as a result of the economic situation versus 16% feeling this way last year.

“As America recovers from a tough economic climate in 2009, those who survived the recession may be questioning if they still want the same job or career when employment opportunities rebound,” said Joanie Ruge, Adecco Group North America senior vice president. “In 2010, I think we’re going to see business leaders start to get a little more aggressive—thinking about and consciously deciding when to shift to a more optimistic, opportunistic employment stance. That shift is going to be critical for employers who want to attract and retain the best, strongest talent. Likewise, for candidates today who may be looking to shift careers or experience, they may want to consider applying for temporary and project-based jobs that can shift their career in the direction of higher growth opportunities.”

What to do?

Adecco Group North America provides the following tips for employers as they prepare for a potential shift in the job marketplace:

• Open the communication door. Employees may have less confidence in leadership because they don’t feel like they have a say. Solicit both formal and informal feedback; keep staff informed and use town hall meetings, open conference calls, regular e-mail communication, and  newsletters to drive employee confidence and productivity.

• Make retention a high priority now. Retention efforts begin through mutual dialogue and building trust. Engage employees in the realities of your business challenges to foster an understanding of the market and competition. Consider mapping out a growth plan for employees and communicate it to your teams.

• Recognize and reward. Employees’ feelings may be waning about their employers because many companies have experienced salary freezing or asking their workforce to work harder with fewer staff support. Creatively recognize and reward employees through alternative means —potentially either through an awards program or team contest.

In addition, gestures of appreciation— a thank you e-mail/note, recognition during meetings, a small gift card or surprise pizza lunch, can be impactful and effectively demonstrate appreciation for hard work and dedication. Being more creative with these sorts of rewards can help improve employee morale while continuing to be financially responsible.


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