More than 53% of U.S. workers signified that they intend to stay with their current employer in 2Q19, according to Gartner, Inc. This represents a 10% increase from 1Q19 to 2Q19 and the first time ever that a majority of the U.S. workforce has reported an intent to stay in-seat — well above the global average of nearly 40%.
The latest data from Gartner’s 2Q19 Global Talent Monitor report showed that this record-high intent to stay coincides with other workplace indicators that reflect definitive changes in employees’ perceptions of and behaviors within the U.S. labor market.
“Over the previous several years, the clear story within the U.S. has been a robust economy, tight labor market and plenty of opportunities for growth and improvement from the employee perspective,” said Brian Kropp, chief of research for the Gartner HR practice. “With this quarter-over-quarter increase in intent to stay, we are now seeing a shift as employees hunker down, indicating concerns around available job opportunities and potential weakness in the labor market.”
In 2Q19, only 12.5% of U.S. workers indicated they were actively looking for another job — well below the global average of 20.2% and a significant drop from almost 25% of workers in 1Q19. The second quarter of 2019 also witnessed a 2.4% decline in employees’ business confidence, with the global business confidence index measuring at its lowest point since 3Q16.
Job opportunity perceptions across all major economies also fell in 2Q19, noting employees’ decreased perception of options for employment in their locations, functions and industries.
U.S. Workers Putting in Higher Levels of Discretionary Effort
The number of U.S. employees who expressed a willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty at their jobs also increased notably quarter over quarter. In 2Q19, more that 21% of U.S. workers reported high discretionary effort on the job, significantly greater than the international average of nearly 17% and rising above 20% for the first time in the U.S. since 1Q18.
“Workers appear to be putting more time and effort into their current positions with the hopes of solidifying their roles in case of a change in the economy,” said Mr. Kropp. “This situation creates an opportunity for organizations to invest in internal training programs that capture this employee commitment to build a stronger, more productive workforce.”
Workplace Strategies to Help Companies Win the War for Talent
As the U.S. labor market continues to experience unemployment of less than 4% and more job openings exist than people seeking them, companies remain challenged to attract talent. With more workers now planning to stay in their current positions, employers need to develop programs that engage existing and future employees, recognize hard work and accomplishments, and deliver rewards that workers value most.
To establish the best chances for success in the workplace, Gartner recommends companies develop a strong Employee Value Proposition (EVP) that focuses on the key things employees want from their employer, including compensation and competitive benefits, development and future career opportunities, corporate culture and work-life balance.
“Investing in and delivering a strong EVP enables companies to raise employee engagement levels, helping to retain talent and potentially decrease annual employee turnover by 69%,” Mr. Kropp added. “A robust EVP also allows organizations to reach deeper into the labor market to attract the right candidates.”
Global Talent Monitor data is drawn from the larger the Gartner Global Labor Market Survey that is sourced from more than 40,000 employees in 40 countries and regions. Conducted quarterly, the survey reflects market conditions during the quarter preceding publication.
About Gartner ReimagineHR
Gartner experts will provide additional insight into the labor and talent issues at the Gartner ReimagineHR Conference, taking place October 28-30 in Florida. Gartner ReimagineHR is the premier event for HR leaders around the world. Follow news and updates from these events on Twitter using #GartnerHR.
About the Gartner HR Practice
The Gartner HR practice brings together the best, relevant content approaches across Gartner to offer individual decision makers strategic business advice on the mission-critical priorities that cut across the HR function. Additional information is available at https://www.gartner.com/en/human-resources.