Half of All U.S. Employees Unsatisfied

June 20, 2011 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A recent survey by Mercer found that half of U.S. employees are looking to leave their jobs or are already checked out. 

Major findings from the new What’s Working survey include: 

  • 32% of U.S. workers are seriously considering leaving their organizations at the present time,  40% of those ages 25–34 and 44% of ages 24 and younger; 
  • 21% view their employers unfavorably and score poorly on key measures of engagement, a term that describes a combination of an employee’s loyalty, commitment and motivation; 
  • 43% of U.S. employees believe they are doing enough to financially prepare for retirement, and only 41% believe their employers are doing enough to help them prepare; 
  • 68% ate their overall benefits program as good or very good, and 59% say they are satisfied with their health care benefits; 
  • 53% of employees report being satisfied with their base pay; and 
  • 42% believe that promotions go to the most qualified employees in their organization, while 46% agree that their organization does an adequate job of matching pay to performance. 

“The business consequences of this erosion in employee sentiment are significant, and clearly the issue goes far beyond retention,” said Mindy Fox, a Senior Partner at Mercer and the firm’s US Region Leader, in a press release. “Diminished loyalty and widespread apathy can undermine business performance, particularly as companies increasingly look to their workforces to drive productivity gains and spur innovation.”   

The What’s Working survey was conducted over the past two quarters among nearly 30,000 workers in 17 countries, including 2,400 workers in the U.S. Its findings are part of a six-month client outreach campaign entitled, “Inside Employees’ Minds: Navigating the New Rules of Engagement.” The campaign will feature a dedicated Web site, videos, podcasts and other intellectual capital, all designed to help employers better understand and create ways to increase employee engagement. 


Sara Kelly