Employee Climate Survey 2013 – “I Work Because…”

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Despite modest job growth, more of the country’s workforce is lacking fulfillment, pride and commitment when it comes to how they view their work – providing some interesting insight on employee attitudes in advance of the October jobs report due out tomorrow.

According to Salary.com’s latest “Value of Work” survey, which surveyed more than 2,000 employees in 2013, the psychological effect of a shaky economy may be taking a toll on the American workforce. The survey’s key findings reveal significant shifts between 2012 and 2013 in how employees value the work that they do. Employees were asked:

I am personally fulfilled by the work I do – 59.2 percent in 2012 DOWN to 38.5 percent in 2013

I am 100 percent committed to my work/career – 71.4 percent in 2012 DOWN to 52.3 percent in 2013

If I won the lottery, I would keep working – 41.5 percent in 2012 DOWN to 29.5 percent in 2013

I work extra hours simply because I enjoy the work I do – 48.5 percent in 2012 DOWN to 19.5 percent in 2013

I work primarily for a paycheck – 55 percent in 2012 UP to 72 percent in 2013

These results indicate an important shift for employers to recognize: despite an economy that’s slowly improving, the tables are turning.

“Employees may be taking a harder, more critical look at their lives, their work and personal situation. They’re evaluating their careers by measuring overall fulfillment and asking, what does my career add to my life? Am I where I want to be in life?” said Abby Euler, general manager at Salary.com. “The psychological toll of the great recession may have caused people to feel ‘burnt out’; where in a down economy employees tended to put their head down, accept lower pay with more responsibility and were often underemployed or even unemployed.”

The “Value of Work” survey also found that employees are finding less meaning in their daily work activities. According to the results, less than one in four respondents, or 13.7 percent, report their job provides a sense of accomplishment.

“These results paint a telling picture for employers when it comes to retaining their most valuable employees,” said Euler. “For example, only three percent of respondents shared that their job feeds them intellectually. These employees are asking: How proud am I of the work that I do? How committed am I? Employers need to pay attention to their workforce. With the economy slowly on the mend, the grass may indeed be greener.”

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