Reading the mood

Reading the mood

The 2014 Kelly Global Workforce Index results show that the global labour market remains unsettled, with waning levels of worker loyalty and commitment.

Less than a third (31%) of respondents are “totally committed” to their current employers. While this percentage has remained consistent since 2012, it represents a sharp decline from 2010, when 43% were totally committed.


Workers in the Americas were most likely to report feeling “totally committed” (34%), compared to those in APAC (29%) and EMEA (26%). The percentage of workers globally who say they feel “more loyal” to their employers than they did a year ago stands at only 29%, a level largely steady since 2011.

More workers in the Americas and APAC (both 32%) report feeling more loyal when compared to those workers in EMEA (22%).

Aspects contributing to a worker’s “sense of meaning” can have a powerful impact on the way workers engage and contribute in a productive manner.

During the economic turmoil, that sense of meaning took on added value. While workers were more likely to accept that their employers could not afford to increase their financial compensation, that didn’t mean they weren’t looking for more. They simply sought alternative ways to improve their work life, and a “sense of meaning” was on that list.

Yet, in the last two years, results show a sharp drop in the number of workers who say their employers contribute to their sense of meaning. In 2012, almost half (47%) found a sense of meaning in their work. In 2014, that number fell nine percentage points to 38%.

Employers who fail to recognise the value of fostering a “sense of meaning” among their workers could find themselves unable to keep the talent they have and unable to attract the top talent they want. To prevent that from happening, employers can take steps to develop more meaningful employment.

Improved sense of meaning could come through their corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts. Companies must be careful not to equate random acts of corporate philanthropy as the entirety of their CSR. A comprehensive CSR program is part of the long-term strategy of the organisation, addressing multiple facets across company initiatives, including worker retention and recruitment.

For more on retention strategies that work, see the full KGWI report here.