Guess we really shouldn’t be surprised: The recent recession seems to have employees longing for the good old days, when workers spent their entire careers with a single company.
At least that’s the message in recent research from HR consultant Towers Watson. Its recent Global Workforce Study indicates that U.S. employees have switched gears from the “free agent” philosophy of a decade ago — when both workers and employers seemed to accept the premise that loyalty was an outdated concept.
Not going anywhere
Eight of 10 respondents to the Global Workforce Study said their aim is to “settle in” to a long-term job. Half of those folks said they’d like to work for a single company their entire career — and the rest wanted to work for no more than two or three organizations.
And, clearly, employees are planning to hold on to what they’ve got — even if prospects for advancement are slim:
- 51% said there are no opportunities to move up in the current job; 43% said if they were to advance to a higher position, it’d have to be with another company, but
- 81% said they’re not actively looking for a different job.
And here’s the final proof of how security conscious employees have become: Asked which employment situation they’d prefer, 86% of respondents chose a “secure and stable position” over “substantially higher levels of compensation.”
Sounds like a pretty unsettled workforce to us. And it’s also a rare opportunity for companies — because when economic conditions improve, employees are going to remember how their employers treated them during the rough patches.