Poll Finds Brightening Workplace Picture

April 12, 2010 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – A new survey of employee confidence finds the number of employers making workplace cutbacks is dropping.

A news release from Glassdoor.com said its survey, conducted by Harris Interactive, found 48% of employees report their company made changes to the number of staff, organizational structure, compensation and benefits, or other perks in the past six months, down from the fourth quarter when 55% said that was true. 

Of those that report cutbacks in the last six months, 55% said their company changed or reduced compensation, and 28% said their own compensation was reduced. Forty-seven percent said their employers laid off employees and/or communicated plans to lay off employees; this is down 10 percentage points from the first quarter of 2009. Finally, 34% reported their employers initiated or communicated hiring freezes, down nine percentage points from the fourth quarter of 2009 when 43% gave that answer.  

More job restructurings were reported by employees (17%) in the first quarter than fourth quarter of 2009 (10%). The same percentage of employees (17%) reported a reduction in health and/or dental benefits as last quarter.

Fewer employees report concern about future layoffs than in the four prior quarters. Eighteen percent of employees are concerned they could be laid off in the next six months, compared to 26% in a year ago. Concerns about being laid off are highest among males aged 35 to 44 (28%) compared to younger, 18 to 34 year old counterparts (8%). However layoff concerns among women aged 18 to 34 are double that (19%) of their male counterparts of same age.

Ten percent of employees and self employed adults think their company outlook will be worse in the next six months, while 41% expect it to be better and 50% expect it to be the same, which is essentially unchanged when compared to the two previous quarters.

One in three (36%) employees expects a pay raise or a cost-of-living increase in the next 12 months, unchanged from the previous quarter.

Other survey findings include:

  • Seventy-six percent of employees and those who are self employed would be willing to take a pay cut before deciding to leave their job. Some 88% of those unemployed but looking for work would be willing to accept a lower salary before deciding not to take the job.
  • Employees and those who are self employed living in the West (81%) and Midwest (80%) are more likely to take a pay cut or accept a lower salary than those living in the Northeast (70%) or South (73%).

Harris Interactive fielded the study from March 19-23, 2010, via the QuickQuery online omnibus service among 2,315 adults ages 18 and older of whom 1,225 were employed full-time/part-time.

More information about the survey is here