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November 13, 2009

HR Fact Friday: Worker Engagement and Expectations Dropping

Cost cutting actions made by U.S. employers in 2009 to deal with the economic downturn have contributed to a sharp decline in the morale and commitment of their workers, especially top performers, according to an annual survey by consultancy Watson Wyatt and WorldatWork, an association of HR professionals.

The 2009/2010 U.S. Strategic Rewards Survey found that employee engagement levels among all employers dropped 9% since 2008 and have plunged close to 25% among top performers.  Additionally, 36% of top performers say their employer’s situation worsened over the past year; the number who would recommend others take jobs at their company has declined by nearly 20%.

“The fallout from the actions employers have taken in response to the recession is now coming to light, and it is significant,” said Laura Sejen, global director of strategic rewards consulting for Watson Wyatt. “Having less engaged and committed workers is a major concern for employers. This could have a long-lasting and detrimental impact on productivity, quality, and customer service, as well as an increase in the risk of companies losing their best employees.”

The survey was conducted in May and based on responses from 1,300 full-time workers at large U.S. employers.

Source: HR Magazine, Stephen Miller, November, 2009 pg. 16

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