SOURCE: Kelly Services, Inc.

Kelly Services, Inc.

March 08, 2010 11:05 ET

Economic Recession Raising Loyalty Among U.S. Employees, Kelly Workforce Survey Reveals

TROY, MI--(Marketwire - March 8, 2010) - The economic recession in the United States has generated a powerful sense of engagement between workers and bosses, with more than a third of employees surveyed saying they are more loyal to their employer, according to the latest survey from global workforce solutions leader Kelly Services (NASDAQ: KELYA) (NASDAQ: KELYB).

The survey, conducted between early October 2009 and the end of January 2010, finds that 34 percent say the economic downturn has made them more loyal, while 14 percent say it has made them less loyal, and 52 percent say it's made no difference.

Those workers who are more loyal to their employers attribute the shift to positive management, pay levels that have improved or remained steady, and active communication from senior executives. Those who are less loyal say it's due to poor management, falling pay, and low company morale.

The findings are part of the Kelly Global Workforce Index, which obtained the views of approximately 134,000 people, including almost 13,000 in the United States.

The impact of the recession on work attitudes has been greatest among Gen Y (aged 18-29) where 38 percent say the downturn has made them more loyal, compared with 34 percent of Gen X (aged 30-47) and 30 percent of baby boomers (aged 48-65).

Kelly Services Executive Vice President and General Manager Mike Webster says, "Despite the difficult economic conditions, some organizations have been able to forge a renewed level of trust with their workforce. Companies that have remained positive, communicated with staff, and demonstrated commitment, have emerged with a workforce that is extremely loyal, and one that is likely to be more focused and energized as the recession wanes and the economy recovers."

Results of the survey in large metropolitan areas and among generations in the United States reveal:

  • The impact of the economic recession on employee loyalty is most pronounced in Los Angeles, with 34 percent more loyal, compared with Chicago (32 percent), Northern California (30 percent), Houston (27 percent), and Boston (23 percent).
  • An average 43 percent of respondents say they feel 'totally committed' to their current employer, ranging from 47 percent in Los Angeles, 41 percent in Chicago, 40 percent in both Houston and Northern California, to 38 percent in Boston.
  • When asked to name the one thing that would make an employee more committed to their job, respondents in Boston and Chicago cite 'more interesting or challenging work,' while those in Los Angeles, Northern California and Houston nominate 'higher salary or benefits.'
  • Company reputation is considered 'very important' in job selection and retention by 55 percent of baby boomers but only 41 percent of Gen Y.
  • 44 percent of Gen Y are 'very confident' in their employers' ability to be good corporate citizens, higher than for both Gen X (41 percent) and baby boomers (39 percent).

The reputation of an organization is shown to be a key element in the way that employees and prospective employees weigh their career decisions. In assessing a firm's reputation, employees place most weight on the quality of its leadership, products and services, and employees. Least important are features such as global presence, financial performance and initiatives aimed at fostering corporate social responsibility.

"People are most engaged with their jobs when they are comfortable with the way they are being managed, and when they have the opportunity to progress as a result of performing stimulating and challenging work," notes Webster. "Salary and benefits are clearly important motivators but they have to be accompanied by measures that encourage personal growth and development in order to build a high performing workplace," he concludes.

For more information about the survey results and key global findings, please visit the Kelly Global Workforce Index.

About the Kelly Global Workforce Index
The Kelly Global Workforce Index is an annual survey revealing opinions about work and the workplace from a generational viewpoint. Approximately 134,000 people from North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific responded to the 2010 survey with results published on a quarterly basis. In 2009, Kelly Services was the recipient of a MarCom Gold Award for the Kelly Global Workforce Index in the Research/Study category.

About Kelly Services
Kelly Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: KELYA) (NASDAQ: KELYB) is a leader in providing workforce solutions. Kelly offers a comprehensive array of outsourcing and consulting services as well as world-class staffing on a temporary, temporary-to-hire and direct-hire basis. Serving clients around the globe, Kelly provides employment to 480,000 employees annually. Revenue in 2009 was $4.3 billion. Visit www.kellyservices.com.

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