- Worker confidence rose to a record high in the third quarter of 2019, according to a quarterly survey of U.S. employees published by HRO Today Magazine and outsourcing firm Yoh. The firms' national Worker Confidence Index recorded an 11.8-point increase in employee confidence from 2019's second quarter to 116.7 in Q3 2019, following a previous all-time record high set in the first quarter of the year.
- The index measured workers' confidence levels based on their anticipation of receiving a raise or promotion, among other job elements. Researchers observed the highest increase in employee confidence when they asked employees about their chances of receiving a promotion, with confidence in pay increases receiving the second-highest such increase. Job security marked the only category in which confidence dropped last quarter.
- "With the WCI showing worker confidence at an all-time high and unemployment numbers remaining historically low, it shows companies are investing strongly in the most important part of any healthy business – their talent," Kathleen King, senior vice president, enterprise solutions at Yoh, said in a statement accompanying the report.
Employers that don't recognize the importance of development opportunities risk losing talent to competitors. In fact, clear development paths can be viewed as employee benefits in their own right. A June poll of hourly workers by hourly work platform Branch showed hourly employees are twice as interested in being promoted internally than in switching jobs to advance elsewhere. In an employee-driven labor market with record-low unemployment, employers with large workforces of hourly employees can compete by providing career pathways.
A recent LinkedIn study helped make the case for employers to invest in career development; the company found that workers who change positions internally, either through a lateral move or a promotion, tend to stay with their employers longer than those who stay in the same position over time.
HRO Today Magazine and Yoh identified trust as one of the variables for which they surveyed candidates. But building trust may be an engagement challenge for organizations: an April survey by employee engagement platform Achievers found only 21% of HR professionals said they believed employees had trust in their company's leadership. Almost two-thirds of employees in the same survey said they wanted "always-on" feedback channels through which to communicate with leadership. Such two-way communication may be key to building and establishing trust between employees and company leaders.