A new survey from CareerBuilder claims that a 55-percent majority of US employees feel that they have just a job, not a career, and that 38 percent of these workers are likely to change jobs in the second half of 2017:
Almost three in 10 workers (28 percent) tolerate or hate their job. Of those who tolerate or hate their job, some of the top reasons for staying in a current position are the need to pay the bills (74 percent), its proximity to home (41 percent), needing the insurance (35 percent), it pays well (30 percent), or the job market is too tough (27 percent).
This survey picks up on something that we at CEB (now Gartner) have seen in our latest Global Talent Monitor data: Most US employees across a number of industries cite their future career opportunities as a leading reason for leaving their organization. Given this fact, it is easy to assume that this is a reflection that there is simply a lack of career opportunities available to employees, leading to disengagement and attrition. However, our data shows that this is not the case. We find that 12 percent of US employees we surveyed were actively dissatisfied with future career opportunities at their organizations and only 31 percent reported they were satisfied. The remaining 58 percent are somewhere in the middle—that is, neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, but rather neutral or ambivalent.
This finding suggests that while future career opportunities are a key part of employees seeking a new job, the claim that lack of future career opportunities is driving attrition at organizations is overstated. When we look at how an employee’s satisfaction with future career opportunities at their current organization affected their engagement levels, we do not see nearly as strong as a connection as CareerBuilder reports in their survey.
According to CDK Global, a provider of software and marketing solutions to the automotive retail industry, women make or influence most vehicle purchases in the US, but showroom employees at auto dealerships remain overwhelmingly male, and dealers are beginning to notice that the lack of women on their sales teams is hurting profits, Claire Ballentine and Jeff Green report at Bloomberg:
Women make up about 19 percent of U.S. dealership employees and most of those are support staff, according to the latest estimates from the National Automobile Dealers Association. The annual turnover rate for the few women who do sell cars is 88 percent, CDK says, meaning would-be buyers interested in negotiating with a female dealer may find themselves fresh out of luck. …
The lack of women on car dealers’ sales floors starts with lackluster hiring efforts. More than 60 percent of female dealership employees surveyed by CDK in May said their companies weren’t doing anything to help recruit more women. When women do get recruited, many say they find dealerships still aren’t a welcoming place. More than half who CDK surveyed have been in their current position for six or more years, suggesting upward mobility is an obstacle. And 57 percent reported experiencing gender bias, like having to endure boorish, sexist banter.
Dealers are taking a number of tacks when it comes to making these sales roles more attractive to women, such as introducing more flexible schedules and compensation strategies that lean more on salary as opposed to commission. As in other industries, auto saleswomen are more likely to succeed at dealerships with women managers, where they have access to mentorship and where management is more attentive to their concerns.
McDonald’s and Ben & Jerry’s may not have a lot in common in their corporate philosophies, but both companies have recently begun offering their low-skilled employees significant educational opportunities that will help them wherever their career paths may take them.
Eighty percent of employees at Ben & Jerry’s ice cream shops are in their first-ever job. The Vermont-based company is now offering them skills training through an online program called Core Academy, where employees can take one of four courses: Beyond the Job parts 1 and 2, Activism Academy, and Social Equity & Inclusion. These topics jibe with the company’s stated commitment to social responsibility.
“We started thinking about what are our responsibilities to this entry-level workforce,” Collette Hittinger, the ice cream company’s global operations and training manager, told SHRM’s Kathy Gurchiek earlier this month, “and we decided we had plenty of programs about how to run an ice cream store,” but nothing to develop skills that would enhance workplace and customer interactions, such as emotional intelligence. The training opportunity also prepares their workforce, 75 percent of which is aged 18-24, for leadership down the road.
Ben & Jerry’s developed the program in partnership with the local Champlain College and California-based Story of Stuff Project. The coursework draws from Champlain’s MBA programs for its content and project-based structure. Participation in Core Academy is voluntary, but the program has been very well-attended and received. It also allows Ben & Jerry’s to stand out in attracting workers for their minimum-wage service industry jobs.
McDonald’s is offering a more traditional education credential, as participants in its “Archways to Opportunity” program can earn a high school diploma through the fast food titan’s partnership with Cengage Learning. Since the 18-month program launched in 2015, roughly 100 employees have completed it and over 800 are currently enrolled. Amanda Eisenberg at Employee Benefit News has the details on the program, which is designed for adult learners:
In January 2015, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich unveiled an ambitious diversity and inclusion initiative, announcing that the company was allocating $300 million toward a plan to achieve “full representation”—meaning that Intel’s US workforce should be at least as diverse as that of the United States as a whole—by 2020. On Tuesday, the tech giant released its mid-year diversity report for 2017, showing where that effort stands halfway to its deadline. Like its past few reports, this one shows Intel making progress, albeit slowly and unevenly, toward its goals. While the raw percentages appear to show little progress—Women’s representation in all roles increased 0.3 percent over last year, but representation among underrepresented minorities remained fairly static—Krzanich says the company is now on track to meet its goal of “full representation” by 2018 instead of 2020, Lydia Dishman reports at Fast Company:
It’s important to note that full representation means that Intel’s target is “market availability,” which measures how many skilled people exist in the external U.S. labor market (drawn from multiple sources, including university graduation data from the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau) as well as Intel’s own internal market. That means the company is tracking its efforts in hiring, retention, and progression for every job category–both technical and nontechnical–for women, African-Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans.
As such, there have been some positive gains since December of 2014 when the gap to full representation was 2,300 employees. Today among about 55,000 employees in the U.S., that gap is down to 801 people, an improvement of 65%.
Coming at a time when Silicon Valley is struggling with sexual harassment scandals, allegations of gender pay discrimination, and a spotty track record overall at creating a welcoming work environment for women, a new analysis of US tech companies by Redfin and PayScale points to one obvious step tech companies can take that might go a long way toward solving those problems: namely, promoting more women into leadership positions.
For the study, Redfin examined executive teams at 31 of the largest tech companies in the US and compared those with a high rate of women on their executive teams (over 25 percent) to those with a low rate (under 20 percent), while PayScale looked at the salary profiled of over 6,500 current and former employees of these companies. Their combined analysis found that pay gaps between men and women were significantly lower at companies with high rates of female leadership: 91 cents to the dollar among all employees versus 77 cents on the dollar at companies with low rates. Correcting for job level and experience, the gap narrowed considerably but was still smaller at companies with more women executives (98 cents to the dollar versus 96)
This analysis is not the first to draw a link between women in leadership and narrower gender pay gaps. A study of bank branch employees published in the Academy of Management Journal earlier this year also found that women working as tellers under female managers were paid about the same as their male counterparts, while those managed by men were paid about 7.5 percent less.
Discussing a recent report from Guardian Life Insurance Company, SHRM’s Stephen Miller examines the case for using voluntary benefits to compete for and retain part-time employees and independent contractors. Noting that most part-time workers lack employer-sponsored health care plans, retirement plans, or other core benefits, Guardian suggests that voluntary benefits can be a good way to help address these employees’ needs:
Under a voluntary benefit program, the employer offers workers a menu of benefits; employees pay for the ones they want through payroll deductions. The employee pays the cost, and the benefits provider handles all administration and provides all needed education materials, [Peggy Maher, senior vice president and head of Guardian’s direct-to-consumer business in New York City,] explained. Usually employees are responsible for paying 100 percent of the premiums. However, voluntary benefits sometimes are niche offerings, such as pet insurance, that might appeal to a subset of workers, and employers may pay part of the cost.
Providing access to voluntary benefits can ease part-time workers’ financial stress, reduce turnover and differentiate employers from competitors in the talent market, Maher noted.
Sure, organizations could offer benefits to part-time employees to increase retention, but why would they? Two of the main benefits of having a part-time employee is that they cost less than full-time employees, in terms of both money and time, and they require less long-term commitment, as most are hired to complete a shorter-term project or task.
Wages at small businesses in the US are beginning to grow at a pace more common to larger companies, the Wall Street Journal’s Ruth Simon reported last week, driven by increasing demand for talent as well as the impact of pay transparency websites like Glassdoor and PayScale. An analysis of ADP data by Moody’s Analytics found that average raises at companies with fewer than 50 employees stood at 1.07 percent over the past three years, significantly more than the 0.69 percent average increase the analysis found for firms of all sizes.
Small businesses have found it necessary to offer more competitive pay packages both to attract new talent and to keep their current employees from getting poached by larger and wealthier firms. Employees, particularly younger workers, also have a better sense of what kind of compensation they can expect to earn with their skills and experience, and are not shy about demanding the pay they think they deserve.
The problem, Simon adds, is that these smaller companies tend to have fewer resources to work with overall, so increases in employee compensation tend to be balanced by cuts in other investments, such as equipment purchases or upgrades. This likely exacerbates the inequality between smaller and larger firms, as companies with larger war chests are better able to pay top dollar for in-demand talent while also investing in other aspects of the business.