Randstad Survey: Attachment Levels between U.S. Employers and their Employees on the Rise

Quarterly Randstad Attachment Index Launched to Help Employers Understand Employee Attachment and Volatility Levels

Monday, September 26, 2011

Atlanta, GA - A new Ipsos survey released today from Randstad finds a majority of U.S. employees are highly engaged and happy in their jobs – despite predictions that many workers will seek new jobs once the job market strengthens. More than three quarters (78 percent) report feeling inspired to do their best at work; 76 percent are proud to work for their companies and 66 percent enjoy going to work every day. Likewise, employee volatility is decreasing with 60 percent of respondents reporting they are unlikely to give consideration to or accept a new job offer in the next six months.

The Randstad survey finds both employee engagement and retention levels are fairly high and trending upward, along with employees’ level of attachment to their employer which rose five points from March to June 2011 on the Randstad Employee Attachment Index. The Attachment Index is a unique instrument for employers to use each quarter to gauge their employees’ degree of attachment. Employee “attachment” is achieved by combining engagement and retention strategies to create a stronger bond with employees. Employers should be focused on attachment levels within their organizations because strong attachment can lead to greater employee motivation and ultimately increased productivity and profitability.

While attachment is strengthening, Randstad’s research finds that almost a third (29 percent) of the most highly engaged employees are likely to seriously consider a new job within the next six months. Nearly 20 percent more of these most engaged workers would accept a job if offered in the next six months.

Employer-Employee Disconnects

The Randstad Attachment Index looks at employee engagement and retention levels as well as employers’ perceptions of their employee’s attitudes. Any disconnects can help employers understand volatility trends among their workforce. Findings show that employers overestimate across all categories of their employees’ levels of engagement, particularly when it comes to feeling the company shares their values (an 18-point difference), trusting the leaders of their organization (an 18-point difference) and enjoying going to work every day (a 15-point difference).

Similarly, eight in 10 employers are confident that their companies’ environment and culture help keep their best people on staff, and seven in 10 report that their organizations utilize programs and incentives to retain top talent. Yet, 51 percent of employers also report struggling to keep their best employees from leaving. Employees rank inadequate pay (38 percent), high stress levels (24 percent) and lack of opportunities for advancement (23 percent) as the top three considerations for changing jobs.

Employees also “graded” their employers’ commitment to their workforce. Twenty-six percent of employees gave their companies a “D” or an “F” when it came to motivating them to go the extra mile and offering opportunities for advancement. Thirty-eight percent also do not believe their companies are making the right workforce investments for the future.

Identifying At-Risk Talent

The most optimal group of attached employees are those with high engagement and high retention – this accounts for 22 percent of the workforce. Workers with both low engagement and low retention make up 17 percent of the employee survey.

The most valuable at-risk group of employees are those with high engagement and low to moderate retention levels. This population of highly valuable and desirable employees at the most risk to leave makes up 15 percent of employees overall – a high number of workers at risk. Distinguishing these at-risk populations will help make employers aware of possible problems and better equipped to design and implement impactful programs focused on keeping the most valuable employees.

Additional Key Findings:

Components of Employee Attachment: Retention

  • 29 percent of the most highly engaged employees are likely to seriously consider a new job within the next six months
  • A 23-point gap exists between how important employees versus employers feel good pay and benefits are for organizations to show their commitment to employees
  • 51 percent of employers report struggling to keep their best employees from leaving
  • 71 percent of employers have trouble finding the right people for the right positions

Components of Employee Attachment: Engagement

  • Top two priorities impacting how employees feel about their job: Feeling recognized and valued and enjoying going to work every day
  • Most employees give high grades to their organizations for making sure employees have the tools and technology they need (82 percent gave employers an “A” or “B” grade) and for making employees feel valued (75 percent gave employers an “A” or “B” grade)
  • Just under two-thirds of employees (64 percent) feel that their organization has met the expectations they had when they first started at the company
  • More than half of employees (59 percent) feel more loyal and committed to their companies now than when they first started

For more information on The Randstad Employee Attachment Index and to access an executive summary of findings visit: www.randstad.com or www.randstadstaffing.com .

The Randstad Employee Attachment Index is comprised of findings from two waves of research targeting employers and employees. In the first employer wave, a national sample of more than 534 employers was interviewed online in March 2011. In the second wave, 546 employers were interviewed online in June. Participating employers work full-time at a company with at least 50 employers and are involved in hiring decisions.

In the first employee wave, a national sample of 1,010 adults who were employed full-time were interviewed online in March. In the second wave, a national sample of 3,436 full-time employed adults were interviewed online.

Weighting was used to balance demographics and ensure samples reflect the U.S. population of working adults.

Employees and employers were surveyed to compare notable differences in perceptions and attitudes. Two separate waves of research allow for trending and to track changes in perceptions and attitudes over time. Research into employee attitudes and perceptions will be conducted quarterly. Research into employer attitudes and perceptions will be conducted on an annual basis.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Rebecca Sizelove
Senior Research Manager
Ipsos Public Affairs

About Ipsos Public Affairs

Ipsos Public Affairs is a non-partisan, objective, survey-based research practice made up of seasoned professionals. We conduct strategic research initiatives for a diverse number of American and international organizations, based not only on public opinion research, but elite stakeholder, corporate, and media opinion research.

Ipsos has media partnerships with the most prestigious news organizations around the world. In the U.S., UK and internationally, Ipsos Public Affairs is the media polling supplier to Reuters News, the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals, and the Hispanic polling partner of Telemundo Communications Group, a division of NBC Universal providing Spanish-language content to U.S. Hispanics and audiences around the world.

Ipsos Public Affairs is a member of the Ipsos Group, a leading global survey-based market research company. We provide boutique-style customer service and work closely with our clients, while also undertaking global research.

To learn more visit: www.ipsos-na.com

About Ipsos

Ipsos is a leading global survey-based market research company, owned and managed by research professionals that helps interpret, simulate, and anticipate the needs and responses of consumers, customers, and citizens around the world. Member companies assess market potential and interpret market trends to develop and test emergent or existing products or services, and build brands. They also test advertising and study audience responses to various media, and measure public opinion around the globe.

They help clients create long-term relationships with their customers, stakeholders or other constituencies. Ipsos member companies offer expertise in advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, and public affairs research, as well as forecasting, modeling, and consulting and offers a full line of custom, syndicated, omnibus, panel, and online research products and services, guided by industry experts and bolstered by advanced analytics and methodologies. The company was founded in 1975 and has been publicly traded since 1999. In 2010, Ipsos generated global revenues of €1.140 billion ($1.6 billion U.S.).

Visit www.ipsos-na.com to learn more about Ipsos offerings and capabilities.

Randstad Survey: Attachment Levels between U.S. Employers
 and their Employees on the Rise


Elen Alexov
Director, Marketing Services,
North America