New Employee/Employer Equation Study
The American workforce is no longer “one size fits all.” An increasingly diverse workforce requires tailored compensation, benefits, management styles, and work arrangements to meet the needs of distinct, targeted workforce segments. The 2004 New Employee/Employer Equation Study, conducted by Age Wave in collaboration with the Concours Group and Harris Interactive, was a landmark study to develop a deeper understanding and superior segmentation of the American workforce. The massive study included interviews with 7,718 adult employees. Key findings include:
- Employee attitudes, needs, and experiences are extremely diverse, and responding to them is key to gaining engagement, loyalty, and productivity.
- Too many employees cope with feelings of burnout (42%) and feel dead-ended in their current jobs (33%). Too few feel energized by their work or by fresh assignments (28%).
- The performance of managers is perceived as poor, with only 36% of employees saying they are satisfied with the support and guidance received from their managers.
- Large employers offer significantly more benefits—including things that small company employees say they want—and yet get less engagement in return.
- Mature employees (55 and older) are the most satisfied and engaged, the happiest on the job, and best adjusted to the workplace. Retaining them, including beyond the traditional retirement age, is key to preventing shortages of skills and labor and a resulting “brain drain.”
Based on the national survey of worker attitudes, priorities, and behaviors, the New Employee/Employer Equation Report identified and described six distinct types of workers and offered specific advice on how to manage and engage each group. These worker segments include:
- Fair and Square Traditionalists: 20% of workers are highly reliable, loyal, traditional workers seeking traditional rewards.
- Accomplished Contributors: 17% of workers are engaged by their work and by contributing to the organization’s success.
- Maverick Morphers: 15% of workers are often relatively young, well-educated, successful, and yet restless.
- Stalled Survivors: 19% of workers feel that work is a source of livelihood but not yet (or not currently) a very satisfying part of their lives.
- Demanding Discontents: 15% of workers derive the least satisfaction from their work and return the least commitment to their employers.
Out of this pioneering work we created an assessment tool that enables employers to determine which segment each worker aligns with, and how to best recruit, manage, and reward them for optimal individual and company performance. Elements examined included work arrangements and scheduling, workplace and management style, opportunities for learning and growth, and compensation, benefits and other forms of motivation and reward.