Worker confidence slipped to 12-month low in Q1 2017
- After five consecutive quarters of rising employee confidence, the first quarter of 2017 saw that measurement fall to a 12-month low according to a new report from Yoh, a talent and outsourcing company. The national Worker Confidence Index compiled data from a survey of U.S. workers from Yoh and respondents at HRO Today Magazine.
- The index weighs employees' perceptions on four key confidence drivers: 1) the likelihood of losing a job; 2) the likelihood of being promoted; 3) the likelihood of getting a raise; and 4) overall trust in the organization's leadership.
- Worker confidence fell from 107.6 in the first quarter of 2017 to 99.7 in the year's second quarter, says Benzinga. The largest dips in confidence occurred with respect to promotions and raises. Leadership trust fell by 3.4 points. The only rise in confidence was in job security.
Worker confidence might be up in job security because workers know that employers are looking at a job seeker's market, but general discontent could be the reason worker confidence dipped in other areas.
Talent development is a big preference among employees, and those without development opportunities often can't envision being promoted. Lower confidence in leadership is particularly troubling. HR might use the index to gauge worker confidence in their own organizations based on the four confidence drivers cited in the report.
Employees might also be right to doubt they would get a raise, or much of one, this year. Wage increases are expected to be modest going into 2018, according to Willis Towers Watson's (WTW) Data Services. Their study showed that average annual pay increases would likely hold steady at 3.0, based on 99% of employer responses. Only top performers and managers could expect considerably more.
Wages have been stagnant for decades, despite the current low unemployment rate (which the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics reports is between 4.0% and 4.5%) and an economy with moderate but steady growth. So, why aren't employers giving higher raises? One reason might be because most employees (71%) don't ask for them, according to a study by Jobvite.
Another reason could be that employers were bracing for the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL's) overtime rule, which could be permanently shelved by a federal court ruling that declared it invalid last month. The overtime rule would have required substantial salary increases, and some employers had already made wage adjustments.
Minimum-wage increases in as many as 19 states might also be holding back employers from offering significant annual pay raises.