Hoping for Stabilization...Better Plan for Resignations

54% of Workers Have Aspirations to Leave Job When Recession Ends

(MELVILLE , NY) June 25, 2009 – Adecco Group North America's latest American Workplace Insights Survey finds the most serious threat to employers in this recession may be its end. The survey indicates every company's greatest asset, its human capital, might be its most tenuous, as employers could see an unprecedented exodus of talent when the job market rebounds. More than half (54%) of employed adults report they are at least somewhat likely to look for new jobs once the economy turns around.

Outlook on the economy


December 2008

June 2009

Believe recession will last 1-2 years



Saving more for potential unemployment



Delaying retirement plans (workers over 60)



Additional survey findings include:

  • Goodbye, Generation Y : The youngest age group of current professionals indicate they plan to be knocking on the doors of their competitors with (71%) of employed adults between the ages of 18 and 29 saying they are at least somewhat likely to look for new jobs once the upturn begins.
  • Generation Y on money : Only (9%) (less than 1 in 10) of Generation Y employed adults are willing to accept a pay cut to keep their jobs compared to about 1 in 5 from other generations (Baby Boomers (22%), Generation X (22%) or Silent (15%)).

“These findings should be an eye-opener for employers who are so focused on cost containment that they are losing focus on retention,” says Bernadette Kenny, chief career officer of Adecco Group North America . “In good times companies focus on how to keep their best and brightest talent and this becomes more important in bad times. Younger Generation Y employees bring a lot of new ideas and skills to the table, they are a generation who likes to be challenged, and if they lose this at their current job are not afraid to seek it elsewhere.”

Adecco Group North America offers the following tips for creative actions companies can take to retain top talent:

Focus on mentorship : Research has found mentors and mentees feel more connected and loyal to their organization than employees not involved in mentor programs. The investment of time in mentorship will deliver strong results in employee engagement. A formal program is not needed, simply taking steps to make sure leadership is connecting one-on-one with workers with high potential will prove beneficial.

Highlight small, but important, wins : Take time to recognize your company's good news. Highlight successes in collaboration, business wins and innovation. Increasing communication in times of uncertainty is important overall and increasing communication of small victories will go far in improving employee morale.

Support career development : Many star employees switch jobs because they feel they have “outgrown” their position. Companies should encourage top-performing junior employees and middle managers by providing opportunities to share their knowledge via training sessions, presentations, mentoring and team assignments. When employees feel their career development and unique skills are desired and respected in their workplace, they are more likely to stick around.

Consider providing flexible work opportunities : Providing your employees with flexible work arrangements such as an ability to work from home one day or work consolidated four-day workdays can increase productivity and reduce absenteeism, and can result in cost savings to the company

For the purposes of this survey we have defined “employed adults” as U.S. adults ages 18+ who are employed full time and/or part time.

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