'I'm Outta Here!' Portrait Of A Quitter [Infographic]

employee happiness loyaltyThe recent recession is perhaps most notable for the the toll it took on the nation's unemployment rate -- pushing it to highs not seen since the Reagan era. But the downturn also negatively affected how employees feel about jobs and employers.

Nearly a third of the 2,400 U.S. workers recently surveyed are seriously considering quitting their jobs, up sharply from 23 percent in 2005, according to a recent What's Working survey by workplace consultancy Mercer.

Another 21 percent, meanwhile, aren't looking to leave their jobs but view their employers unfavorably and score low on levels of "engagement," a measure of employee loyalty, commitment and motivation.

The erosion in employee sentiment has repercussions beyond retaining staff, says Mindy Fox, a senior partner at Mercer. "Diminished loyalty and widespread apathy can undermine business performance," she says, "particularly as companies increasingly look to their workforces to drive productivity gains and spur innovation."

The survey showed that concern about work is widespread among employees, as employers have made cuts to benefits and asked workers to do more with less. Among its findings, Mercer reported:

  • Only 43 percent of U.S. employees believe they are doing enough to financially prepare for retirement -- down from 47 percent in 2005. And just 41 percent believe their employers are doing enough to help them prepare, up slightly from 38 percent.
  • Sixty-eight percent of employees rate their overall benefits program as good or very good, down from 76 percent in 2005, while 59 percent say they are satisfied with their health-care benefits, down from 66 percent.
  • Base pay is the most important element of the employment deal, by a wide margin, but U.S. workers show lower satisfaction with base pay (53 percent satisfied, down from 58 percent in 2005).

The survey also showed that the youngest workers are most likely to be eyeing departure, with 40 percent of employees age 25 to 34 and 44 percent of employees 24 and younger intending to leave their jobs.

Next:Growing Number Of Frustrated Workers Opt To Quit

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