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Belated Labor Day posting: Workforce survey results September 8, 2006

Posted by Tom in Research, Workforce.

I should have known better than to go dark during Labor Day. But moving waits for no one, and I have to resort to an end-of-the-week Labor Day post.

Kronos Incorporated commissioned Harris Interactive to conduct the “Working in America: What Employees Want” survey (MP3 audio release). A few highlights:

The “Working in America: What Employees Want” survey found that an overwhelming 82 percent of employed adults who are satisfied with their current employer agreed that their satisfaction with their employer motivates them to go above and beyond their daily job responsibilities. This finding seems to support Deloitte Consulting’s research on the shareholder returns of the 56 publicly traded firms on FORTUNE’s 2005 “Best Companies to Work For” list. Companies on this list consistently outperform the S&P 500. For example, in the year 2004-2005, the stock performance average annual return for the S&P 500 was approximately nine percent, while the return for the 56 “Best Companies to Work For” was 16 percent.

As the economy continues to improve, employee retention will become a key strategic issue for organizations. The Baby Boomer exodus, coupled with the anticipated labor shortage, will elevate the issue of employee retention to the boardroom. The balance of power is shifting from the employer to the employee and organizations must not ignore this changing dynamic.

This study sheds light on how organizations can create a productive and engaged workforce. Best practice organizations recognize employees as assets to be maximized, not expenses to be minimized. In today’s knowledge economy, these organizations recognize the value of their employees and the impact people have on overall business performance. These organizations also understand that their human capital is an intangible asset whose value must be factored into the overall equation for substantial economic success and growth.

During the Northeast Indiana Strategic Skills Initiative, we uncovered a widespread lack of employer-employee loyalty (report page 36) as a cross-cutting root cause of some of our most pressing occupational shortages. That Kronos/Harris found that the most loyal companies are among the most successful does not surprise me at all.

Kronos also has an impressive list of best practice-style white papers on their site which look to be good reads. The company puts themselves forward as “improving the performance of people and business,” and their survey results indicate that they may have an idea or two.



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