10 Years Post-Recession: Workers Feel More Confident and Respected Today, But Are More Overworked and Unsure About Career Advancement, According to Korn Ferry Analysis

--Today’s Workers Less Likely to Believe Pay and Benefits are Competitive–

--Research Spans 1 Million US Employees At 180 Companies--

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- A Korn Ferry (NYSE:KFY) analysis of U.S. employee engagement data shows distinct shifts in employee attitudes toward their workplaces in the 10 years since the start of the Great Recession.

The analysis of more than 1 million employees in approximately 180 companies shows both positive and negative trends from 2008-2018.

On the positive side, the analysis found that employees are 28 percent more likely today than in 2008 to believe that their immediate managers support their development, and are 15 percent more likely to report their organizations demonstrate care and concern for employees.

Employees also feel more confident in the future, as they are 17 percent more likely today than in 2008 to believe their companies will be successful over the next 2-3 years.

However, on the flip side, employees have stronger negative opinions today on several issues:

Pay and Benefits

Compared to 10 years ago, workers today are 15 percent less likely to agree that the benefits their companies offer them are competitive, and they are 4 percent less likely to believe their pay is fair considering the pay of people doing similar jobs in other companies.

“Back in 2008, many workers may have been happy just to be employed, given the mass layoffs at that time,” said Korn Ferry Senior Principal Mark Royal. “But today, with the tight labor market, employees have choices and may leave if they feel they can be better compensated elsewhere.”

Training and Performance Management

Compared to 10 years ago, employees today are 10 percent less likely to experience strong cross-team support within the company and 11 percent less likely to believe that decisions are made at the lowest level appropriate.

“Today’s organizations run much leaner and unfortunately, managers are sometimes too strapped with their own workloads to address the needs of their employees,” said Royal. “Over the past 10 years, there has also been a shift from hierarchal management to flatter, more interdependent working environments. It’s important that organizations understand the implications this has on managing employees.”

Career Paths and Workload Issues

Though the analysis did find that employees believe their direct managers support their development more today, it also found they feel their organizations overall have murkier approaches to career progression. Compared to 10 years ago, workers are 10 percent less likely today to have a good idea of possible career paths available to them, and they are 6 percent less likely to agree there are enough people to do the work in their work group.

“Employees feel that there are not enough people to tackle demanding workloads, and often don’t see how their hard work will help them advance in the organization,” said Royal. “It’s important to continually monitor and adjust accordingly the demands on employees, and also offer them clear career paths that reward solid contributions.”

Employee Attitudes in the Workplace at a Glance

What’s Improved from 2008-2018           What’s Gotten Worse from 2008-2018
Immediate managers support their development (+28 percent)           Benefits are competitive (-15 percent)
Organizations demonstrate care and concern for employees (+15 percent)           Pay is competitive (-4 percent)
Belief their company will be successful in the next 2-3 years (+17 percent)           Decisions are made at the lowest level appropriate (-11 percent)
            Have good idea of career path (-10 percent)
            Have enough people in their workgroup (-6 percent)

About Korn Ferry

Korn Ferry is a global organizational consulting firm. We help clients synchronize strategy and talent to drive superior performance. We work with organizations to design their structures, roles, and responsibilities. We help them hire the right people to bring their strategy to life. And we advise them on how to reward, develop, and motivate their people.

Korn Ferry
Tracy Kurschner, 612-309-3957

Source: Korn Ferry