Over half of U.S. adults believe President Obama has not paid enough attention to employment (59%) during his first year as President. ---BBC World News America/Harris Poll, conducted online between January 13th and 15th, 2010 among 2,010 U.S. adults 18+
Tough to get back into the swing of everything after the New Year. So apologies that my heart is still on a beach in Boca. But with the decade not yet one week old, let’s take a look at some recent Harris Poll data on what we expect from politics in the coming 10 years.
You know how you look in the mirror and it doesn't feel like you've changed, but when you think back over the past decade, you barely recognize the person you once were? (or was that just TMI?) Well, so it goes for us as a country.
Eight years of GWB rambled by...and now, here we are with our celebu-prez, whose hopeful luminescence seems to fade with each passing Harris Poll (the most recent approval rating is a meager 43% positive, compared to a semi-radiant, out-of-the-gate 55% back in March). And it's not just the name of our President that has changed --- so have we and our priorities.
We cite health care as the top issue for the government to address, when it was third a decade ago;
The economy in general and JOBS in particular are also at the top of our list, when not even 10% of the adult population considered these issues a top priority ten years ago; and,
While war and Social Security may still be priorities to us now, it's certainly not with the same significance as in the recent past.
Paul Krugman of the NY Times wrote today that the urgency behind finding jobs as a policy priority has all but vanished, despite the economic recovery having yet to trickle down to employed and unemployed Main Street Americans (such as the 24% who flag "jobs" as the key priority facing our government right now). This is just my ineloquent paraphrase of his editorial, but it does highlight an interesting gap between the people and the administration (and what, how, and how well we address key issues).
And it may help explain some of the current frustration with Obama's policy proposals and his declining approval rating... More on this tomorrow...
Do you ever feel as though the people in charge at your place of work (bosses, owners, or top executives) just don’t understand what really matters to employees? Well, according to research conducted on behalf of Spherion Corporation this past February and March, you might be right.
This research surveyed both employers and employees and found that these groups have very different views of what matters most to employees. While employers are more likely to believe that supervisor relationships and a company’s management climate are important to employees (84% consider each to be important), these items don’t reach the top of the list among employees.
In fact, the 3 factors employees most commonly consider important are all related to compensation (benefits-76%; financial compensations-75%; growth & earnings potential-66%). While most employers recognize benefits as being important to employees (79%), financial compensation is far lower on employers’ lists, ranking 6th out of 8 items, in terms of the percentage of employers who see this as important to their workforce.
What does this mean? It’s tough to say in this economy. While we’ve started to see signs of improvement, job losses continue to be in the hundreds of thousands each month. What employees want may not be a priority for employers struggling to keep their businesses afloat, or for employees who are happy they still have jobs. But as things continue to improve and the competition to attract the most talented workers heats up among employers, these issues may rise to the forefront again.
What is most important to you in a job? Does your relationship with your supervisor matter most, or are salary and benefits more important? Do you feel that your employer is doing enough in these areas?
Post by Whitney Heckathorne, Public Relations Research
Exciting news folks…! In an effort to stay “Ahead of What’s Next,” Harris Interactive is Going GREEN!
As a company, we are working towards green solutions for our research and eco-friendliness within our offices. And this global initiative to "green" each of our locations is being championed by Yours Truly (which makes me want to write another blog post titled “Be Careful What You Volunteer For”).
Last week, to celebrate our newfound eco-responsibility, we had an internal “Green Week” and implemented office priorities, such as recycling, powering down electronics, printing double-sided, etc. Now, these may sound basic…and they are…but how often do Americans really integrate these “greenitiatives” into their own, daily lives? The numbers may not be as high as you’d think, according to a recent Harris Poll on Americans’ attitudes and behaviors surrounding green issues.
Keep unneeded lights off or turn lights off when leaving a room—83% of U.S. adults say they do it often or always… really?? Not trying to sound preachy here, but nearly 1 in 5 of us don’t even regularly flip off light switches? That’s the easiest one, people!
Recycle—68% do so often or always…decent number, but it still indicates about a third of us aren’t in the habit of aiming for the green bin instead of the trash.
Unplug electrical appliances when not using them—40%...I’ve recently learned (from a nifty little book called The Green Book) that up to 10% of your energy bill can be attributed to “vampire energy”… the things we don’t think to unplug like microwaves, TVs, cell phone chargers, etc. Hook it all up to a power surger and you only have to flip one switch before leaving the house. Looks like 6 in 10 of us have a new way to save some cash.
Compost food and organic waste—17%...I’ve toyed with this idea…I like the thought of my food scraps going back into the earth, but not sure having a big, decaying pile of food in my teeny, weeny NYC apartment will fly with my roommates. Do let me know if you have a suggestion to remedy this “small space vs. big smell” issue.
Carpool or take public transportation—16%...I know, I know, I’m not a morning person either. The last thing I want is to have to talk to/see/smell/touch anyone on the way to work. BUT…I do like “saving green” just as much, if not more than, “going green” and gas ain’t cheap.
So these are the numbers of people who are saying they take on these initiatives in their lives on a regular basis. What’s interesting is, during our internal Green Week, many Harris employees made the point that they’ve wanted to be greener at work, but hadn’t been given the opportunity. So I would imagine if we asked employed Americans which of the above they often or always do at their place of work, the percentages would be radically lower than they are above (e.g., think of the number of people you work with who turn off their office lights when popping into a meeting—I would imagine the number is quite small).
What do you do to be eco-friendly in your daily life? More specifically, how can companies encourage their workplaces to be more eco-friendly? And, in your opinion, what are the benefits of having Green employees?
About 7 in 10 Americans (71%) rate the current job market in their region of the country as bad. ---The Harris Poll, conducted online between August 10th and August 18th, 2009, among 2,984 U.S. adults 18+
Building on our work posts from the past two weeks, the national unemployment numbers show more than a 2 percentage point difference in unemployment between men (9.8%) and women (7.5%). According to the most recent issue of Time, there came a time last winter when 4 men were being laid off for every woman (though they make up only slightly over half – 53% – of the workforce).
And the traditionally female sectors of employment (e.g., health care) have started to see some job gains, while traditionally male sectors (e.g., construction, manufacturing) continue to face job losses.
Now, you might expect that women would experience the economic downturn somewhat differently than men as the role of work has a different claim to our self-esteem, routine, and pocketbook.
But according to the Time article, women become vulnerable and responsible when they lose their jobs -- but also when men do. Perhaps the caretaking and breadwinning roles shift a little. And the Kronos data discussed yesterday offers a glimmer of insight as to how. During this downturn:
Women are more likely to say they go to work even if they’re tired, sick or have a conflict (36% vs. 25%).
Women who work hourly are much more likely than men to say they’d taken any shifts that come available (52% vs. 38%).
We will continue to mine our data for more implications to both genders. But for now…thoughts on how the economic downturn has affected you and your partner? Have your roles in the household shifted at all? And if so, how?
28% of employed Americans say their workload has increased due to the recession and economic downturn. ---commissioned by Kronos and conducted online between January 30th - February 3rd, 2009 among U.S. adults 18+, of whom 1,376 are employed full time, part time or self-employed
Last week, we talked about the impact of a floundering economy on our motivation to take on new responsibilities and/or a new job. But, a bad economy doesn’t always compel us to make good (that is, in the moral sense) choices. As noted in a recent Time article, for many workers (though notably not most), ethical lines may blur or vanish completely when faced with the prospect of losing a job:
28% of workers say they would act immorally - including lying or backstabbing - to keep their jobs.
13% say they would outright lie or exaggerate to keep their jobs.
4% say they would lie about having common interests with their boss.
2% say they would take credit for someone else's work or fight with the boss to get ahead.
Please reflect…. Has the recent economic downturn caused you to make choices that you wouldn’t otherwise – and that you have felt uncomfortable about afterwards?