ATLANTA — Workers who were once confident they could quit one job and easily jump to another, often for better pay and perks, are now expressing fears of layoffs and are seeking job security.
A new survey from staffing company Insight Global finds that 77% of U.S. adults in full-time jobs are planning to stay put, and are even looking for ways to make themselves indispensable to their employers.
This is a huge reversal from the Great Resignation of early 2021, when post-pandemic workers quit their jobs, often citing stress, burnout and a desire for a better work/life balance.
Current economic conditions — a slowdown in job growth, inflation and the threat of recession — are prime motivators for the current play-it-safe attitude. Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed (73%) said they are now motivated to learn and improve their skill sets or take on additional responsibilities at work to ensure they keep their job.
More than half (61%) also said they’d be willing to take a pay cut to avoid layoffs if there is a recession. This was even higher among managers, with 75% saying they’d opt for a salary cut to stay employed.
Meanwhile, 59% of managers noted their organizations are engaged in “labor hoarding,” holding on to employees because they’ve struggled in the past to retain talent and they don’t want to fall victim to another labor shortage. That tracks with managers also feeling better prepared for a recession when surveyed in October and November than they did four months prior.
With workers nervous and financial conditions in flux, Bert Bean, CEO of Insight Global, said, “I believe this is the time for leaders to double down on having a shared purpose among their teams, inspiring them to stay and working together as a united front to tackle the challenges ahead.”
Even though employees have expressed willingness to take a pay cut to stay employed, the survey also showed that most job seekers (57%) are still looking for better pay.
Insight Global used an independent market research firm to conduct an online survey of 1,005 working adults in management and non-management positions between Oct. 26 and Nov. 14.
I’m Joanne Friedrick, research editor for the Home Furnishings Division. I began my career as a newspaper editor and then became a trade journalist, covering myriad industries including pension funds, supermarkets, gourmet food and security systems, just to name a few. Most recently, I entered the home furnishings category as a contributor for HFN and Home Textiles Today before transitioning into research where I now get to tell the stories behind the numbers for all of the HFD titles.