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Katherine Jones


Partner and Director of Talent Research

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The energised employee we all want to hire


The Plainspeak Analyst is Katherine Jones, Partner and Director of Talent Research at Mercer, the world’s largest human resources consulting firm. Her job is to design and deliver insight research and services to Mercer’s global clients. She was previously VP, Human Capital Management Technology Research at Bersin by Deloitte. She has a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from Cornell University.

How an employee faces his or her workday is an intangible factor—is she “engaged” with the task at hand? Is he “happy at work”?

In Mercer’s recent Global Talent Trends Study of 5,446 employees around the globe, we chose the word “energized” to describe the employee who is engaged at work.  The good news for 2017: most of the global workforce falls into this category.

The vast majority of employees in the 15 countries surveyed consider themselves to be energized in their roles at work. On a scale of one to 10, the largest group of respondents (45%) rate themselves as seven to eight out of 10. Of those 45%, a majority reported that they feel energized on a “normal” day at work. 

Energized employees prove to be very different than those that are not

83% of them feel they can bring their authentic selves to work “always” or “most of the time” ― in other words, they can “be themselves in their jobs.”

The ability to reveal one’s true self at work is an important development as it’s linked to better relationships with others; while hiding one’s true self is linked with lower levels of job satisfaction. These individuals’ comfort is partially rooted in the belief that they can bring their unique skills and interests to their jobs, likely speaking to the value of job fit.

Energized employees are probably in positions where they perceive their skills are used, their value is recognized, and their contributions are appreciated.

But do energized employees stay?

These satisfied employees are engrossed in their daily work, their careers, and across all measures, they were three to five times more likely to give their organization an excellent (A+) overall rating compared to de-energized employees. However, 34% of energized and satisfied employees are still likely to leave their current company.


You’re reading an article from the Plainspeak Analyst, a column dedicated to good-quality insight delivered simply, written by one of the top analysts in the industry, Katherine Jones, a Partner at global consulting firm Mercer. Check out all articles written by Plainspeak Analyst.


The majority of those otherwise satisfied employees will leave because they do not see a long-term career path with their current organization, while others may see better offers available outside of their company.

More than half of energized employees (59%) reported feeling satisfied with their companies and had no plans to look for other jobs — compared to only 22% of the non-energized. But, companies may be alarmed to hear:  35% of non-energized employees that report dissatisfaction at work have no intention of looking for work elsewhere.

Watch for poachers…

Your most valuable people are the most vulnerable for getting lured away by opportunities or higher salaries.  And your least productive, unhappy employees?  You may have them forever.

For more information about what 7,000 executives, HR professionals, and employees say about the world of work, click here for your free copy of Mercer’s 2017 Global Talent Trends report Empowerment in a Disruptive World.

One Response

  1. Thank you Katherine and I am
    Thank you Katherine and I am enjoying your HR Zone features. And here you’re giving HR all the evidence-base for a key question I have right now about new people technology capability to derive value from this kind of “pulse”: how do we capture the blind spots? How, in this case, do we find out what’s going on with the disengaged, those who don’t respond to our surveys or use our tools? I think that a key HR challenge in months and years ahead is to start to use the lateral thinking of (perhaps) the analysts to fathom how to turn around the difficulties. Including that which you rightly present here. Many thanks!

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Katherine Jones

Partner and Director of Talent Research

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