- More than one-third of U.S. workers in a recent Conference Board survey said their sense of belonging at their respective organizations has decreased compared to six months prior, just one piece of a larger puzzle portraying growing disengagement with employers.
- Specifically, 30% of fully remote workers said engagement has decreased over the same time frame, as did 31% of hybrid workers and 30% of fully in-office workers. The Conference Board said remote work did not have an impact on reported engagement levels, but it noted that women, millennials and individual contributors reported lower levels than their counterparts.
- Alongside these trends, 37% said their self-reported mental health levels were lower, and the same percentage said their intent to stay at their current organizations had fallen. Yet, only 12% of respondents said they were actively planning to leave their jobs in the next six months; 29% said the potential for an economic slowdown made them less likely to leave, the Conference Board said.
The Great Resignation that sat atop HR’s long list of concerns in 2022 may be fading slightly out of view — as the Conference Board’s survey results suggest — but lower attrition does not necessarily mean employees are satisfied with the status quo.
Other research has found that economic uncertainty is playing on workers’ propensity to job hop. Earlier this month, 47% of respondents to a Joblist survey of candidates said concerns about a potential recession had made them less likely to quit their jobs.
Employers may be focused on pay going into 2023, but many workers have had their ability to work impacted by a myriad of other factors. A lack of mental health access has particularly alarmed some HR observers. Employers can approach the subject in multiple ways, but an underutilized strategy may be ensuring that employees are meaningfully recognized for the work they do.
Workers, particularly younger workers, also may be concerned about nonexistent or barely-there diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. Flexibility, too, is not far from many candidates’ minds given the expansion of remote and hybrid work.
“Employees are not only demanding to retain the flexibility they gained from being required to work remotely, but they expect genuine and transparent communications to continue from their leaders as well,” Robin Erickson, VP of human capital at The Conference Board, said in a statement. “That’s not to say that pay no longer matters—it’s just not the only thing that matters, or even the most important thing. Now, when looking for a job, workers are weighing a variety of factors unique to them and their needs.”