Work longer hours. Take less vacation. Forget about PTO. Sound familiar? It should, according to the results of the Towers Watson Talent Management and Rewards Survey, which finds that 65 percent of companies responding to the survey said that their employees have worked more hours over the past three years. Nearly 70 percent of responding companies are located in the United States.
Even more alarming are the trends surrounding time away from work. The survey reveals that 31 percent of companies report that in the last three years their employees have used less vacation and personal time off. The companies do exhibit concern over the situation and potential long-term impacts, and 66 percent even say that they have made changes in a number of areas to address their concerns. However, the changes they report are in the areas of talent management, organizational structure and job performance evaluation – a far cry from the actions that would show true commitment to the plight of today’s employees, namely, hire more staff to alleviate the burden. Especially when media headlines consistently point to the significant cash reserves that many corporations have today.
This represents a fairly big disconnect between the factors that are creating significant job stress for employees and how employers plan to address those challenges. We know from previous downturns that while employees will do what they can in response to economic challenges, this only lasts for a certain amount of time. Sooner or later, they hit a breaking point and are much more willing to consider new opportunities. So, don’t assume that you know how your employees feel about your organization as an employer and their willingness to consider a job change. Instead, conduct an internal survey of all employees and work directly with hiring managers to address potential issues among critical staff members.