Job Security Worries Lower Employee Expectations

June 19, 2008 ( - Fears of a recession have American employees nervous about job security, leading them to lower workplace expectations and demands, Randstad's ninth annual 2008 World of Work survey suggests.

Since last year, more employees surveyed say now is a good time to take on more work (68% v. 63%), fewer think it is a good time to look for a job that pays more (50% v. 54%), and less are asking for help to lighten their own load at work (35% v. 38%). According to a press release, Randstad’s survey found employees’ job satisfaction is at its highest level in four years.

While fewer employees than in 2006 report flexible work hours (50% v. 54%), more paid time off (47% v. 53%), and opportunity for advancement (46% v. 50%) as important to keeping them happy on the job, more cited health insurance (66% v. 64%) as important to happiness on the job.

Though employees in the two youngest generations traditionally have the highest workplace expectations, some of the steepest declines in employee expectations occurred in Gen X and Gen Y, the news release said. In particular, competitive pay declined in importance among Gen X (from 79% to 70%) and Gen Y (from 86% to 71%) in the past two years.

The survey was conducted online within the United States on behalf of Randstad USA between December 14, 2007, and January 16, 2008, among 3,494 U.S. adults (age 18 and older), among whom 1,295 were employers and 2,199 were employees.