Employees Want To Stay Put

March 16, 2010

job securityResults of a study released today indicate that more American employees now prefer to stay with the same employer for as long as possible and are too discouraged or afraid to seek new opportunities.

"People are increasingly wanting things that are harder to get," said Max Caldwell, a leader of talent and rewards business at Towers Watson Co., a human resources consulting firm that conducted the survey, who was quoted by Reuters. "They'd like to settle into one or two companies for life. What people want is security, stability and a long-term employment relationship, (which are) increasingly out of reach."

The company's study surveyed more than 20,000 employees in 22 global markets, and found that 39 percent hoped to work for one organization for life. Almost the same amount--40 percent--said they wanted to work for two or three organizations throughout their career, while 20 percent said they wanted to switch companies when better opportunities arose.

About 43 percent of respondents said they felt they could only advance if they left their current job; nevertheless, 44 percent said they would prefer to stay in their jobs because of stability. More than half said they felt there was no chance of job advancement at their current employer.

"We've found that since the recession, people are 'burrowing in,'" explained Caldwell, who was quoted by The Wall Street Journal. "Instead of looking elsewhere for higher pay or the better position, people are craving stability."

Meanwhile, companies are increasingly shifting responsibility for benefits, such as healthcare and retirement savings, to employees. Nearly 80 percent of respondents said that they were responsible for managing retirement income, while 53 percent had responsibility for healthcare needs.

"Individuals by and large have primary responsibility for virtually every aspect of their employment experience," noted Caldwell, who was quoted in MarketWatch.

He said that realistically, job seekers should expect constant change. "You have really got to take responsibility for yourself, your future, your career," Caldwell told MarketWatch. "Don't expect that there will be stability, expect constant change, be agile to deal with that change. Make sure that as an individual you are building skills that make you more employable."

Compiled by Yaffa Klugerman

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