Emerging Workforce Study – Brand Advocates, Retention & Leadership Pipeline

Disclosure: Post sponsored by Spherion, but all opinions are my own. Please see below for additional disclosure.

Last month I highlighted some initial data from Spherion’s Emerging Workforce Study and this month I’m back with more helpful information in the form of an infographic  (I love anything that simplifies data.) Findings from the study indicate that workers play a large role as brand advocates but workers and employers don’t see eye-to-eye when it comes to retention tactics and the leadership pipeline talent is a challenge for companies.

Key Findings From The Study Include:

  • Employers believe the most important aspects for worker retention include the management climate (89%), an employee’s relationship with his or her supervisor (85%) and the culture and work environment (81%).
  • However, workers feel financial compensation (78%), benefits (76%) and growth and earnings potential (71%) will influence whether they continue to work at a company.
  • Only 35% of workers would say something very positive in discussing their company with other people.
    • Another 32% would say something only somewhat positive about their employer.
  • Nearly half (42%) of workers would write a negative review online or post their dissatisfaction via social media if they have a negative customer service experience with a company.



Spherion partnered with bloggers such as me for their Emerging Workforce Study program. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about any idea mentioned in these posts. Spherion believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Spherion’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.




Be Afraid: Employee Layoff Fears At the Lowest Level in Five Years

Glassdoor released its Q3 Employee Confidence Survey this past Friday and the results continue to show growing employee confidence. 15% of surveyed employees are less concerned about being laid off in the next six months, this % hasn’t been recorded since Q4 2008:


Courtesy: Glassdoor

On top of that employees continue to feel optimistic that if laid off they could get a job in the next six months:


Courtesy: Glassdoor

So what does this mean? If you haven’t already,  you should start looking at how to retain your top performers. Although the economy remains shaky,  there are definite signs of a slow recovery taking place and that means the people you’ve been overworking and underpaying are polishing their resumes.  

I suggest starting with a review of employee perks and consider enriching or adding additional perks, Per Glassdoor’s survey 76% of employees report that perks such as working remotely, casual dress and stock options have increased since second quarter. Please note that some of those perks don’t cost much: working remotely and changing the dress code costs nothing.


Some other options you can pursue that cost a little more time or money:


1. If you had a salary freeze in the past you should re-evaluate salaries for key positions within your organization. Make sure you are paying at or above the market and plan how to address any shortfalls.

2. Let people know they are valued and critical to the organization. If they are on the hi-potential list or on the succession plan, make sure they know that. Many people leave companies because they do not feel valued, communicating this is critical but doesn’t cost much except time.

3. Brush off the succession plans- who are your key players? What roles are critical to the organization’s success? Are people in those roles fairly compensated? Are any considered “at-risk” to leave the company? How will you handle it when one comes to you with an offer from another company? Counter offer? No counter offer?


What about your company? As the economy continues to recover does your company have plans in place to retain key people? To bring on new talent? Are you enriching your benefits or perks? Or is it business as usual? Tell me in the comments!

Like a fish out of water


This blog post is part of a collection created by various Human Resources professionals. This “Carnival” of HR posts centers around the theme of HR and Home. To read the rest of the collection click here. You’ll be glad you did!

When I first started in HR I would pre-screen candidates for various positions. Some jobs required relocation and some didn’t.  When I talked with an out -of-town candidate I had to ask the question: “are you willing to relocate for this position?” I checked the “yes” or “no” box. And that was that. People relocated or they didn’t.

It was only when I relocated myself that I really started to think about what it meant to move to a new town, state, or country…

I moved to Richmond a little under 5 years ago with my husband.  In many ways, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I was moving from the Midwest city of Cleveland, Ohio to the city of Richmond, Virginia located in the southeast part of the country.

Some might say an upgrade; some might say a downgrade…whatevs I was just looking forward to less snow! My family hails from Chicago (Go Bears!) and we relocated to Cleveland (Go Browns!) when I was pretty young.  So most of my experiences growing up are primarily Midwestern: I say “pop,” I can drive in the snow, I don’t think Canada is that far, [insert any other northern/Midwestern thing].

So take this nice, Midwesterner and put her into the former capital of the confederacy….why exactly didn’t I get a reality TV show?

There wouldn’t have been much to show. Richmonders are some of the nicest, friendliest and hospitable people and usually have all their teeth (you know I had to throw a redneck reference in). Regardless of what you think you know about Richmond, it is an eclectic, southern city with a great mix of people from all over the country.

I was getting my driver’s license when I discovered that the person in front of me was also from Cleveland and the person behind me was from Philadelphia.

This happens a lot in Richmond and it is great for me.  I love hearing where people come from, what they do, why they moved, how they like the area, etc; I’ve met people from all over the place living in Richmond: Philadelphia, New Jersey, New York, Dallas, South Carolina, North Carolina, Canada, & Ghana to name a few.

These discussions have given me a much deeper understanding of the things we do for work: pick up and move our spouses and kids, spend our own money and time to move, miss a family crisis back home, spend every holiday on the road, the list goes on.  Depending on your circumstances a move can be a bump in the road, a pleasant segue or a very stressful event.

Since I have become much more aware of what it takes to relocate, I put extra effort on both the personal and the professional side to lend a helping hand to newbies in the area.  It could be something as simple as offering traffic advice to help someone avoid the well-known bottlenecks. Or maybe it’s giving out the name of my trusted handyman…it took me a while to find him so why not spare someone all that time?

So here’s the thing, what I’m talking about isn’t in the HR manual. It’s rarely talked about in most circles. It is that part of HR that we forget about sometimes: the human in human resources. I’m not suggesting you become the Angie’s list of your company instead I simply suggest that you promote an environment where people are welcoming and considerate to out-of-towners.  Moving to a new place can make you feel like a fish out of water; let’s help kick that feeling down a notch eh?


Quality Character = Quality HR

Last week I wrote a post about crappy HR.  It could have been construed as a rant.  I didn’t write it to rant but I could see where someone might get that impression.  Fast forward to later that day, post publication when I got this Tweet:

Stuart brings up a good point.  One that hit home with me because I realized I have spent more than one or two of my previous blog posts complaining about HR,  which is not what I intend to do (on a regular basis) on this blog.

Having spent a bit of time in HR I try to turn my observations of HR into insight that we can use to better our organizations and ourselves professionally.  That sounds pretty lofty, slightly idealistic and perhaps naïve; But I aim high in life and haven’t been beaten down yet so I think that’s a great goal.

With that in mind, this week I am focusing on some of the best people in HR I have had the pleasure of working with.   I can’t name all of them so instead, I’m focusing on the best character traits that make HR pros successful and effective.  All together I narrowed it down to ten, I’m talking about five today and will wrap up with the top five on Thursday!

Numbers 10 through six are….

10.  Relentless- people have a way of avoiding HR; you can’t be intimidated about contacting and re-contacting people as well as following up. If you don’t have this skill, stuff falls by the way side,  there isn’t much in HR that can safely fall by the wayside: “sorry I didn’t get around to closing out that complaint,  it was hard to schedule  a meeting with the department manager” – that doesn’t quite cut it.

9. Salesmanship (saleswomanship) – it’s not just recruiting that can be compared to sales.  Think about it, we are always selling in HR: new benefits plans, compensation/bonus plans/new  policies/getting rid of old policies/etc;

8.  Thick Skin – A thick skin is pretty essential in HR, after all we are the ones telling a manager why their brilliant pay scheme won’t work or why they can’t hire their mistress.  It’s (usually) not personal but when you tell people “no” they can take it out on the wrong person…that’s you HR. And that’s why it’s important to have a thick skin…

7. Reasonable – This is important because the perception that HR is not reasonable is rampant.  You know the reputation we have…policy police, fun-killers, angel of death, factories of sadness….so it’s vital to show how reasonable you are.  The best HR pros know they make no friends by being the policy police.

6. On-the-spot -Decision Makings – this goes hand in hand with #7, at some point you will be forced to draw upon your experience to make quick decisions in very murky circumstances.  The best HR pros can quickly and reasonably make the necessary decisions and all with composure and confidence.  It’s a tough skill but invaluable to being an effective HR pro, you can’t always hold a meeting and get back with someone “tomorrow.”

Well, that’s the start of my list; what do you think so far? What have I missed ? What do you think I should include (Thursday’s post isn’t written yet)?

Stop by again on Thursday to hear the top five traits!

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It’s all about the heart

You can find me over at Performance I Create today,  blogging about the heart….here’s a snippet to whet your appetite:

Unfortunately, we usually don’t realize we need someone until we hear a rumor that they are looking or we get a resignation notice. At this point some managers start hyperventilating and scurry about trying to figure out how to get the employee to stay.  Depending on the person, this is one of those CODE RED situations where managers are stalking HR trying to get authorization for a stay bonus or some other ridiculous perk.

Click over to Performance I Create to read the entire post.  When you are over there,  take a minute to look around the newly re-designed site.  Lots of good stuff there!

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