Employees Are Ready to Push Beyond `Survival Mode` at Work, Employers Key to Helping Them Thrive

Tue Sep 1, 2009 4:13pm EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

Randstad 2009 World of Work Survey Finds New Work Order Emerging; Employees
Poised for Changes in Their Career and Way They Approach Their Job
ATLANTA--(Business Wire)--
Despite unemployment rates not seen in more than 25 years and businesses filing
bankruptcy, scaling back or going out of business, U.S. workers report being
ready to step up and regain control of their own and their companies` destinies,
according to the Randstad 2009 World of Work survey. In its tenth year, the
survey findings overwhelmingly point to a workforce that is eager to move past
`survival mode` and focus their energies on a future where they and their
companies will thrive. 

Employees taking steps

The 2009 survey shows that 78 percent of surveyed employees are staying
motivated and focused by maintaining a positive attitude; but this sentiment
comes with some caution. While the majority of employees surveyed believe now is
the right time to be innovative (91 percent), to focus on the future (90
percent) and expand their roles and responsibilities (83 percent), only 55
percent think it is a good time to speak their mind and far fewer (38 percent)
think it`s a good time to take risks. 

Another interesting finding from the survey centered on employees` attitudes
toward being laid off from their job. Only one in four employees (25 percent)
expressed concern about being laid off in the next six months. Of those (75
percent) who aren`t concerned about being laid off, 52 percent attributed their
lack of concern to having a positive attitude; this ranked higher than having a
broad set of responsibilities (45 percent) and being a key player in the
company`s future success (32 percent). 

Conversely, of those employees who are concerned about being laid off, 46
percent are exploring new opportunities at other organizations while,
surprisingly, only 28 percent are exploring new opportunities within their
current organization. Gen Y is more apt than any other generation to be keeping
their options open and exploring outside opportunities - 47 percent have updated
their resume in the past six months and 26 percent have sent their resume to
another organization or recruiter. 

"While much attention has been given to those who have lost jobs and are
suffering economic hardships, far less attention has been given to
understanding, managing and motivating the workers who are still employed," says
Eileen Habelow, Randstad senior vice president for organizational development.
"Many companies are missing the opportunity to energize their workforce by
reminding them that their consistent, strong performance is key to the success
of the company. Proactively harnessing their determination and commitment for
future success is one of the smartest and often easiest strategies companies can

The loyalty gap

The 2009 World of Work shows that employees are taking a hands-on approach to
achieving company goals and being more involved in the success of their
organization. Seventy-two percent of employees reported a personal commitment to
their organization while 79 percent agreed that it is important that they help
achieve their organization`s goals. Interestingly, only 46 percent thought their
organization is committed to their success. 

While more employees (57 percent) are describing themselves as loyal to their
employer, up eight percentage points from 2008, the proportion of employees who
consider their company loyal to them has remained virtually unchanged since 2005
(about 25 percent), despite major shifts in the economy. This sentiment has
widened the 23-point gap that existed last year to create a larger 32-point gap
this year. 

The difference in perceived loyalty indicates that employees don`t feel valued
and highlights an opportunity for companies to do a better job of demonstrating
loyalty and support toward employees. "Companies need to do their part to keep
workers connected, engaged and motivated," says Habelow. "Now is the time to
focus on the employees who can make the difference between surviving and
thriving. By communicating their value and role in achieving business goals,
employers can retain their top talent and achieve better results once the
recession is over." 

Optimistic, but realistic

This year`s World of Work report finds employees` optimism about the future of
the company down from just a few years ago. In 2003, 51 percent felt optimistic
compared to 33 percent today, representing an 18-point decline. This is to be
expected based on employees` anxiety about their job situation. Additionally,
the proportion of workers who agree that management at their company takes
action to improve employee morale has dropped by 20 percentage points to just 17

Also of note, the survey revealed that a majority of workers (83 percent) feel
fortunate to still have their jobs and that more than half fear for their
economic well-being (52 percent). More than one in three (37 percent) felt their
work environment would become less enjoyable and 34 percent were concerned their
career progress will be slowed. 

Other 2009 World of Work survey findings include:

* Only 12 percent of employees and 9 percent of employers are considering
changing jobs in the next 12 months. 
* Although the BLS reports more men have lost their jobs than women, 58 percent
of women fear for their economic security compared to 47 percent of men. 
* Being part of a workplace family is considerably less important to employees
today (34 percent) than in 2003 (73 percent), representing a 39 percent drop 
* Twelve percent of employees surveyed expressed feeling envious of those who
have left their organization

Abbreviated Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States from March 23 to April
15, 2009, among 2,199 employees and 833 managers. Harris Interactive® panel
members reflected the U.S. population of adults age 18+, employed full-time or
self employed, and employers involved in decision making on strategic HR issues
for at least six months. Data is weighted using Propensity Score Weighting, a
proprietary weighting technique that balances all of the characteristics (e.g.
demographic, attitudinal, and behavioral) of online respondents in order to
project the U.S. general population. 

About Randstad

Randstad is a wholly owned subsidiary of Randstad Holding nv, a $24 billion
global provider of professional employment services and the second largest
staffing organization in the world. 

Randstad fulfills all aspects of commercial and professional staffing for local
and global customers. Services include temporary, temporary-to-hire, permanent,
and outsourced placement within Finance & Accounting, Technical & Engineering,
Healthcare, Industrial, IT, Legal, Life Sciences, Call Center, Creative,
Education, Executive Office and Office. Other offerings include payrolling,
managed services, recruitment process outsourcing and HR consulting solutions.
Randstad provides skills assessments, career counseling, training, health
coverage and paid vacation to eligible internal and external employees. With its
3,300 employment experts, Randstad puts an average of 50,000 people to work in
the U.S. each week through its network of more than 600 branches and
client-dedicated locations. More information is available at the company`s Web
site, www.randstad.com. 

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available:

For Randstad
Holly Richmond, 404-877-5533

Copyright Business Wire 2009