american workers and their jobs: match made in heaven this valentine’s day
back to overviewNew Randstad Work Watch Survey Reveals U.S. Workers Are Feeling the Job Love
ATLANTA, 02.14.11 — A recent survey conducted by Randstad, global provider of HR services and the second largest staffing organization in the world, found that more than half of American workers love their job. They also feel “loved back,” with 62 percent of workers reporting they feel their employers really care about them.
"It’s somewhat surprising that such a large percentage of workers say they love their job today despite layoffs, cutbacks and bigger workloads,” according to Eileen Habelow, Ph.D., senior vice president of organizational development for Randstad. “This could point to feelings of gratitude and appreciation for being employed when so many have been laid off. Also, many workers have been given new opportunities to perform at work and could be feeling a greater sense of achievement and value to their employers."
Randstad’s Work Watch survey examines U.S. workers’ attitudes towards one of the most important relationships they have – their jobs.
Let Me Count the Reasons
Those who love their job are most likely to say it is because of the work they do (66 percent), rather than because of their coworkers (11 percent), their employers (10 percent) or the pay (9 percent). Similarly, for those workers (37 percent) who report hating their jobs, 29 percent of them cite the work they do as the reason. These workers also attribute their dissatisfaction to salary/pay (25 percent) and their employers (23 percent).
While pay is not the chief reason cited for why employees love or hate their job, it is the top reason they are working at their current job. More than a third (36 percent) say it is because of the pay or salary – the top answer across all demographic groups. Adults age 35 and older are also likely (23 percent) to say it is because of the benefits. A quarter of workers age 55 and older also cite the contribution they are making, while younger adults (21 percent) are more likely to say it is the opportunity to gain experience for their career.
Can We Go the Distance?
While a majority of workers say they love their jobs and feel their company cares for them, more than half of workers (52 percent) say they don’t believe their current job is going anywhere in terms of promotions or skills development opportunities.
In addition, only 38 percent would be willing to relocate for their job. Those most willing to move include those under 35 (50 percent), unmarried adults (46 percent), men (46 percent) and college graduates (44 percent).
“The employer-employee relationship is evolving,” said Habelow, “and employees need to be more focused on their own career development and long term growth. They can’t rely on their employer to do it all for them. To keep the best employees, however, companies do need to invest in workers and partner with them to take their career to the next level.”
A Wandering Eye?
Despite half of workers reporting skepticism that their current job isn’t going anywhere, only one in six employees (17 percent) admits they are currently “straying” by looking for a new position with another organization.
The survey also found that just three in 10 (30 percent) say they would choose a “new and exciting job over one that was stable and secure.”
Igniting the Passion
“As the job market recovers, employee retention and engagement have to be top priorities,” said Habelow. “The top driver of employee engagement is employees’ belief that senior management has their best interest at heart. This can be demonstrated through professional development, new opportunities, compensation and recognition.”
Habelow advises companies to pay special attention to recognizing employees’ professional accomplishments and connecting them to priority business objectives. Employees who feel they contribute to their employers’ success will be more connected to the organization and motivated to make ongoing impact.
“Creating loyalty in the relationship is a two-way street and requires work from both employer and employee,” says Habelow.
Habelow also has tips for workers who need extra motivation to sustain “the love” at work:
- Seek out mentors - look for a variety of people in the office to learn from and gain their perspective. Mentors can help guide your career, keep you motivated and provide inspiration.
- Take on new assignments - challenge yourself with new assignments or activities. Learning new things, solving problems and working with a variety of people can help keep the job exciting.
- Communicate - make sure you are communicating your feelings to a supervisor or trusted advisor. If your employer doesn’t know your feelings, they can’t work to make things better.
For more information, please contact Christina Setser via email or 404.870.6829.
Abbreviated Survey Methodology
For the survey, a national sample of 1,008 adults aged 18 and older who are currently employed full or part time from Ipsos’ U.S. online panel were interviewed online. The poll was conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs from January 31 to February 3, 2011. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the U.S. population of working adults according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points 19 times out of 20 of what the results would have been had the entire population of employed adults aged 18 and older in the United States been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error. Total percentages may add up to more than 100% due to rounding.