"Survey Says": Well I Am Not Quite Sure!

Surveys come out everyday. We are a survey happy society (at least in the US). Seems sometimes we can only operate if we know what everyone else is doing. So here goes…

A Hay Survey on the slowing economy reports that nearly 1/3 of the CEO’s and HR executives polled reported that they were freezing or considering freezing wages, especially for executives, management and professional groups. They also report others are going to implement changes or plan changes to their healthcare benefits (27 percent), retirement/pension benefits (20 percent), and training and development programs (28 percent). At the same time many express that retaining or motivating high performers during the economic downturn is a major concern. (DUH!) So some are looking at changing high performer retention programs.

A survey by conducted by BlessingWhite asked the question “Assuming you have a choice, do you plan to remain with your organization through the 2008 year?” They asked this of North Americans, Europeans and Asians, with the majority of responses coming from North America. They found that North Americans were more likely to stay than Europeans and Asians and that gender had little to do with it. This was a poll conducted in December 2007 and January 2008. They did find “Only 7% of employees from North America said there is “no way” they plan to remain with their current employer, compared with 11% of Europeans and 8% overall. Overall in 2006, 6% or respondents said there was “no way” they planned to stay put.” So there was a slight increade in discontent and North Americans were definately more likley to stay.

A third survey, conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), found that nearly 54 percent of employers plan on offering signing bonuses to new college graduates whom they want to hire this year, up from 47 percent in 2007. “Among respondents who plan to offer a bonus to all entry-level college hires, the average signing bonus is $4,450, up 25 percent from last year’s average of $3,568. However, two-thirds of those using bonuses expect to offer them to just selected candidates, and average bonus offers vary according to a number of factors, including the candidate’s degree and degree level, NACE notes.”

And the last poll, conducted by Compensation.BLR.com, HR managers don’t see cutbacks coming despite the much ballyhooed recession. “When asked “Does your company plan to grow in size in 2008?,” 63 percent responded “Yes, we expect to hire additional staff.” Meanwhile, 24 percent responded “No, we expect the size of our workforce to stay the same.” Only 14 percent responded “No, we may even cut back on staff this year.”

So, what do we have here? A mixed bag for sure.

  • CEO’s and HR executives freezing salaries, while offering hiring bonuses to new hires. That is certain to make your current workforce unhappy.
  • North Americans not really deciding to go anywhere, but now that they have read that bosses are freezing salaries and college kids are getting bonuses maybe that will change.
  • HR is hiring additional staff. Are you offering them bonuses or are you getting the experienced employees from the companies that are freezing salaries?
  • If you want to hire perhaps you need to take a look at Europeans and Asians, they seem to be more restless than Americans and might not be put off by salaries being frozen.
  • Why are HR departments and CEOs not using the same figures? Not that CEOs and HR not connecting is unusual.
  • It would be interesting to know what companies are doing to keep the “high performers” given the salary freezes and benefit cuts.

So let’s do our own survey. Please participate in the poll to the left in the column.

Thanks, I will let you know the results in about 10 days.

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