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Employees Happy with Leaders, Not About Jobs

Data from a quarterly survey of over 20,000 employees

Senior Manager in Front of TeamDespite the huge amounts of newsprint and pixels devoted to the Chinese stock sell-off and the response of global markets in the past 10 days or so (paywall), most commentators agree the global economy is not yet in jeopardy and we are not on the brink of another recession.

This news and analysis reflects the views of employees around the world. They are not overly confident about the future but neither are they panicking.

Recent data from CEB’s quarterly survey of more than 20,000 employees show that they are slightly more confident than not about business conditions, and have even more confidence in their senior managers to steer the right course. They are also more active in their search for new jobs, even if they don’t think their prospects have changed all that much in the past 12 months.

Employees More Confident in their Leaders than the Economy

Based on the Business Confidence Index (BCI), which measures employees’ confidence in near-term business conditions and the long-term economic prospects for their industry, employees are slightly more confident about the future than otherwise, as the 53.6 indexed score for the third quarter (Q3) of 2015 shows (see chart 1).

The Leadership Confidence Index (LCI) tracks employees’ confidence in the senior leadership of their current organization to successfully prepare for the future by setting strategy, developing leaders, and responding to economic and labor market changes. The Q3 score is comfortably above neutral at 60.2 and also shows that employees are fairly confident right now that senior managers will steer them through any turmoil ahead (see chart 1).

Executive sentiment on business conditions and leadership

Chart 1: Executive sentiment on business conditions and leadership, Q2 2015  Degree of confidence of employees; n = 22,972  Source: CEB 2015 Business Barometer Survey

Job Seeking Increases But Employees’ Perceptions of their Job Prospects Have Not

Despite regional fluctuations, employees’ perception of their job prospects globally has remained fairly stable across 2015. Even with economic fluctuations in Europe, particularly Greece, employees perceive job availability and job quality to be more or less equal to the previous year.

Employees in the EU, Australia and New Zealand see greater job availability in 2015 while North and Latin American markets continue to stagnate (see chart 2).

Job opportunity barometer

Chart 2: Job opportunity barometer  Global Employed Labor Force Q2 2015; n = 6,671 (Asia); 3,302 (North America); 21,971 (Global); 1,503 (Australia and New Zealand); 8,690 (Europe)  Source: CEB 2010–2015 Global Labor Market Surveys.

While job availability remained fairly stable, a higher number of employees went looking for jobs this quarter as compared to the same quarter in 2014. This is reported by an “active-passive score” from the survey data, which measures the extent to which employed individuals are inclined to and demonstrate effort to look for new jobs.

Malaysia and the Philippines have seen job seeking activity increase by 8.2 points (see chart 3). So far, emerging markets continue to have the most active job seekers. Countries bucking this trend are Brazil, Canada and the United States, which saw a significant decrease in the number of employees looking for new jobs.

Active-passive score

Chart 3: Active–passive score, Q2 2015  n = 22,972  Source: CEB 2013–2015 Global Labor Market Surveys

 

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