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The consultancy surveyed 10,914 employees—at all levels—from Southeast Asia, North America, India, Australia, New Zealand, China and Europe from July through October 2010 and found that:
Blame the Recession?
Although respondents from each region said their companies took some sort of action during the recession of 2008-09, such as postponing projects, reducing salaries and downsizing, European and North American companies were most likely to have done so. Fifty-eight percent of respondents from Europe said their organizations were reorganized, compared to a global average of 39 percent; 51 percent of North American respondents said their organizations had layoffs, compared to a global average of 30 percent.
Less than one in five respondents in India reported that their company had implemented such strategies, far below the percentages reported by respondents in other regions.
Even so, the report noted that the news was better in 2010 than it was in the spring of 2008 when
BlessingWhite’s last report was released: Engagement levels increased in every region “despite the rough and tumble of the economic recession,” the report authors noted.
Will They Stay?
Yet the report says that in most regions (Southeast Asia being the exception), more employees said in 2010 than in 2008 that there was “no way” they would stay with their employer for the 12 months following completion of the survey.
Employers in China have the greatest cause for worry because the number of employees there who said they won’t stay with their employer more than tripled from 2008 to 2010, up to 16 percent from 5 percent.
And less than half of employees in Europe (48 percent) said they definitely plan to stay with their employer, the lowest affirmative response of all the regions.
When asked to select from a list of actions that would improve job satisfaction, employees from around the world agreed that what they want most is:
Job security, benefits and compensation—items mentioned regularly by respondents to the
annual job satisfaction report published by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)—were not referenced in the job satisfaction portion of the BlessingWhite study.
What Do They Need?
Although common themes emerged on the subject of job satisfaction, there was far less consensus about what factors most contribute to employee performance around the world. For example, employees from Europe, North America and the Australia/New Zealand region said they need “more resources” in order to improve performance, according to the report.
However, one in four Chinese respondents said regular, specific feedback about their performance would be most likely to impact their performance, while a quarter of respondents from Southeast Asia and India said they wanted greater clarity about what the organization needs them to do, and why.
The report noted that there are many factors that can impact employee engagement, such as organizational changes and external events—only some of which are under the control of the employer. Thus, engagement is the responsibility of the entire workforce. According to the report:
“As soon as engagement becomes a goal in addition to daily priorities, it drops off the bottom of the to-do list for even the most well-intentioned leaders,” according to Christopher Rice, CEO of BlessingWhite. “You need the entire workforce to be accountable for increasing engagement levels year-round.”
Rebecca R. Hastings, SPHR, is an online editor/manager for SHRM.
Interact with SHRM publishing staff and learn about editorial and publishing operations at the SHRM Publishing and E-Media Group on SHRM Connect.Go to the page and click on “Join this group.”
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