Differences Between Employers and Workers Can Be Hurtful

August 16, 2006 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The differences between employers and their workers can have serious consequences, according to a new survey.

The survey of nearly 3,000 adults by staffing agency Randstad found that conflicts over workplace issues can adversely impact loyalty and morale, drive up stress and help drive workers to start pulling together their resumes, according to a news report by the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM).

While 86% of surveyed employees believe that feeling valued is important for job satisfaction, just under four in 10 (37%) said they feel valued by their own company, SHRM reported.

In other findings:

  • 55% of employers said company morale was “excellent/good,” while 38% of employees agreed.
  • 69% of employers said workers stay in jobs they dislike just to have a job; 81% of employees said that’s what they do.
  • 41% of employers said the company is loyal to employees, but only a quarter of employees recognize that loyalty.
  • 72% of employers said employees are loyal to the company while 56% of employees said this is so. That’s down slightly from 59% in 2005.

That erosion of loyalty could be chalked up to differing views about what employees seek in career development and what they are offered, the difficulty of balancing work and home life, and a widening gap between employers and employees in their view as to whether salaries are competitive, the survey report suggests.

While 73% of employers say fostering employee development is important, only 49% of employees said their company takes actions to make this a reality.

According to the SHRM report, the survey found that the gap has widened between the perceptions of employees and employers about whether their salaries are competitive. More employees surveyed this year than last (39% vs. 28%) think that they are underpaid, while more employers this year than last (50% vs. 42%) think the salaries they offer “are on par with the marketplace.”

Randstad’s nationwide 2006 Employee Review polled US business professionals “who make strategic human resources decisions or strongly influence those decisions and have been doing so for at least six months,” according to the survey’s press release.