ARLINGTON, Va., Dec. 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Employee confidence in the broader business environment increased for the sixth consecutive quarter and has now reached its highest point since 2010, according to CEB, now Gartner. In contrast, discretionary effort – how hard the average employee is working – has hit an all-time low.
New data from the CEB Global Talent Monitor showed that global employee confidence in the economy in Q3 2017 reached 54.7, nearly a 1 percent increase over last quarter. In addition to feeling confident about the economy, employees' perceptions of available job opportunities increased at the global level and hit a three-and-a-half-year high. However, this has not translated into more job seeking, which remains steady. In fact, employees' intent to stay in their current job increased for the second quarter in a row – just over 1 percent globally.
While this might seem like good news for employers, the decline in discretionary effort is troubling. In Q3 2017, employees reporting a high willingness to go above and beyond their assigned duties was 16 percent; in Q3 2013 this number was 20 percent. Though a 4 percent decrease might not seem impactful, it means that since 2013, one out of five of a company's hardest working employees is no longer working as hard as they used to nor putting in additional effort.
"In today's labor market, employees are not concerned about losing their job or their company underperforming," said Brian Kropp, HR practice leader at CEB, now Gartner. "In addition, they feel there is a lack of opportunity to move up within their organizations, and thus very little incentive to work harder than they must. This lack of motivation is of course problematic for organizations, but also likely explains a significant part of the productivity drag we're seeing in several economies."
Employers Must Act
With more employees planning to stay in their current roles, and decreasing their levels of effort at work, employers must take measures to ensure that they maintain productivity and the bottom line. To do this, leaders should consider the following:
- Understand the unique situation at your organization. Are employees putting in less effort? How bad is the problem and what are the consequences for the company?
- Help engage and train managers. Given their proximity to employees, it is critical that managers learn how to coach employees in a way that improves performance in order to turn around this negative discretionary effort trend.
- Consider different alternatives. In addition to managers, organizations need to leverage team members to generate peer-to-peer strategies for coaching and recognition.
"To counter the complacency employees are demonstrating in their careers, organizations will need to find ways to incentivize employees and help them stay motivated," added Kropp.
Global Talent Monitor data is drawn from the larger CEB Global Labor Market Survey which is made up of more than 22,000 employees in 40 countries. The survey is conducted quarterly and is reflective of market conditions during the quarter preceding publication. Visit www.cebglobal.com/talentmonitor to learn more and compare talent data from around the world.
About CEB, Now Gartner
Leading organizations worldwide rely on CEB services to harness their untapped potential and grow. Now offered by Gartner, CEB best practices and technology solutions equip clients with the intelligence to effectively manage talent, customers, and operations. More information is available at gartner.com/ceb.
Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) is the world's leading research and advisory company. The company helps business leaders across all major functions in every industry and enterprise size with the objective insights they need to make the right decisions. Gartner's comprehensive suite of services delivers strategic advice and proven best practices to help clients succeed in their mission-critical priorities. Gartner is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.A., and has more than 15,000 associates serving clients in 11,000 enterprises in 100 countries. For more information, visit www.gartner.com.