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Jamie Lawrence


Insights Director

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News: European clock-watchers ‘here to stay’


New research suggests European workers are clocking in – then zoning out.

One in three employees globally (32.7 percent) has no intention of leaving their current job in the next 12 months. European employees are most set on staying put at 37.8 percent, compared to one in five (21.7 percent) employees in Asia.

CEB’s latest Global Workforce Insights survey of 18,000 workers found that employees in HR and Government, Non-Profit and Education are particularly determined to stay put, with figures reaching 38 and 37.7 percent respectively.

Over four in five employees globally (81.2 percent) show moderate to poor levels of discretionary effort, while a willingness to perform above contractual requirements was particularly low in Europe – fewer than one in five workers (16.9 percent) show high levels of discretionary effort.

According to the findings, European employees are more likely to be ‘quitting in seat’ than employees in other regions – possibly influenced by employees looking to find a better balance between work and private lives. The data indicates that UK employees rank work-life balance as the top attraction driver.

Negative behaviours can be over-represented in these types of survey but HR should still take note of the findings – they point to an unengaged workforce. Finding out precisely why employees do not want to make discretionary effort is a key task in improving productivity and overall company energy. In the financial downturn many employees have simply de-prioritised work to re-focus on their personal lives. HR must respect this decision and work with, rather than against, staff needs and wishes.

Clare Moncrieff, a Senior Director in CEB’s London office commented: “The current employment market has led to a workforce freeze coupled with declining effort levels. A lack of available jobs and poor switching rewards mean employees are staying put in their current – often less fulfilling – roles as opposed to of seeking out new ones.

“While a low turnover may initially be welcome by employers, it comes at a high cost. Although their intent-to-stay is high, the majority of employees are reluctant to go above and beyond the call of duty, an essential quality in today’s tough economic conditions. Instead, many employees are focusing on stability and prioritising their personal lives, and are delivering the minimum requirements demanded of them at work.

“Now more than ever, organisations cannot afford the impact of a less invested workforce. Complacency is their worst enemy. To battle it, companies must engage with their employees in a more proactive and innovative way, keeping morale high and work experiences stimulating. We cannot let employees quit and stay.”

Author Profile Picture
Jamie Lawrence

Insights Director

Read more from Jamie Lawrence

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