According to Gartner’s December 2017 CEB Global Talent Monitor, employee confidence increased in 2018 for the sixth consecutive quarter and is now at 54 percent, which was its highest point since 2010. Furthermore, an employee’s perception of the availability of new job opportunities has increased. It’s a pro-candidate environment.
Interestingly, and perhaps a stress-release for HR teams, this new job optimism has not resulted in more employees seeking or switching jobs. Employees’ intent to remain in their current role actually rose, worldwide, over the past two quarters. In the US, 46 percent of employees report their intent to continue with their current employer.
Unfortunately, although employees may be staying at their organizations longer, they are not working harder.
Gartner reports that, globally, there is a notable decline in discretionary effort. This past quarter, employees reporting a high willingness to go “above and beyond” their assigned duties was only at 16 percent, a four percent drop from 2013. Tangibly, this equates to two out of every ten of the hardest working talent is no long putting in additional effort. On-the-job motivation is lacking with six-year lows in both Europe and Latin America.
Glass half full, the US is still a leader in regard to employees expending extra energy at work, with 24 percent of talent still motivated to excel.
Clearly, a large percentage of the workforce is planning to stay within their current organization, however, with a decreased level of conscious extra-effort from employees, companies must now become very proactive to ensure that they maintain productivity and increase the bottom line. But, within a stronger job market, current employees become more apathetic in regard to losing their jobs, as well as their company underperforming, overall. This lack of motivation is worrisome for some organizations.
Compounding their job indifference, although they are “staying put,” employees feel there is a lack of opportunity to move up within their current organizations, giving them little incentive to work harder than they must. Is it because they do not sense a larger goal.
Learning & Development to Fight the Old Ennui
Crooning “I Get A Kick Out Of You,” we know Sinatra was not singing about workforce engagement when he lamented of “fighting vainly the old ennui,” but it does serve as an L&D metaphor.
Training will motivate employees as a positive “kick,” both emotionally and professionally. We know that the top two drivers for workforce attrition are 1.) future career opportunity, and 2.) people management, are two drivers solidly set within L&D’s bailiwick.
Crossing into 2018’s job ecosphere, it’s essential that training becomes a priority – stating with leadership and front-line managers. Given their immediacy to their direct reports, it is imperative that managers are taught how to coach employees in a confident and constructive manner that both improve performance while reversing any negative discretionary effort trend.
Fighting the old ennui begins with motivating senior management.