New Research from Yoh Reveals Disconnect Between Decreasing Employee Well Being and Improving Unemployment Rates

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Despite an improving U.S. unemployment rate, new findings from a survey conducted by HRO Today Magazine and Yoh show a steep decline in employee well being during the 3rd quarter


Despite an improving U.S. unemployment rate, new findings from a survey conducted by HRO Today Magazine and Yoh, the leading international talent and outsourcing company owned by Day & Zimmermann, showed a steep decline in overall employee well being during the 3rd quarter. The fourth installment of the survey titled The Employee Well Being Study, measured perceived U.S. employment security during the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2014 and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2015.

Using the four components established by Yoh and HRO Today that make up employee well being – involuntary job loss possibility, likelihood of promotion, anticipation of a raise, and trust in company leadership – the survey showed an overall decrease in well being from 102.3 in the second quarter to 97.8 in the third quarter, the largest drop to date and lowest recorded score since the survey began in 2014. Specifically, the index showed steep declines across the board in optimism for job promotion potential, raise potential and trust in leadership.

However, the declining results of the Employee Well Being Study do coincide with lower-than-expected 3rd quarter revenues reported by 57 percent of S&P 500 companies as well as a dip in CEO confidence as reported by The Business Roundtable CEO Economic Outlook Index, which fell to its lowest level in three years. Additionally, the employee well being index follows a steep decline in the Consumer Confidence Index® (CCI), which fell from 99.1 in October to 90.4 in November.

“Increasingly, we are finding that worker sentiment correlates more closely with financial market fluctuations and leadership sentiment rather than the employment market. As such, it is the responsibility of leadership and talent managers to monitor and assess employees’ well being on an ongoing basis,” said Andy Roane, Vice President of Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) for Yoh. “As the talent landscape changes, employee sentiment has become more reactive than ever to external and internal factors such as economic health and company leadership. To identify the root of their stressors and provide ways to build positive sentiment, HR and company leadership need to take a proactive approach to understanding employee sentiment and discover ways in which to improve it.”

Key takeaways of the Employee Well Being Study include:

  •     HR must be proactive

The study showed a continued decrease in the belief of a promotion in the 3rd quarter, down to 18.3 percent from 20.3 percent in the prior quarter, as well as a dip in the likelihood of receiving a raise from 27.6 percent to 25.7 percent. Though declines in employee well being can often be seen in real time, this does provide an opportunity for HR and company leadership to quickly improve sentiment by being transparent about promotions, raises, and potential job loss. By being proactive with information to employees, companies will be better able to keep their best talent.

  •     Employee well being follows CEO sentiment

Though the unemployment rate continued to decline at the end of the 3rd quarter to 5.1 percent, which theoretically signals a happier workforce, the overall Employee Well Being Index dip coincided with a stark decline in CEO confidence, according to the Business Roundtable CEO Economic Outlook Index. It has become more apparent that employee and CEO sentiment are no longer held at different standards, but have become directly related. Improving employee well being begins with a confident, transparent executive suite and trickles down to more confident employees at all levels of an organization.

  •     Trust is key

The Employee Well Being Study shows that less than one-half of respondents (42 percent) trusted company leadership to make sound decisions in Q3 of 2015. Study trends also show that that as age increases, trust in a company’s leadership erodes. As shown by the correlation between the S&P 500 and employee well being, company leadership must be forthcoming and transparent about business outlook in order to increase trust in the executive suite.

Survey Methodology
Each month, HRO Today magazine employs ORC International's CARAVAN® Omnibus Surveys. Approximately 333 interviews are conducted online each month. Respondents are individuals age 18+ who are working full-time in the U.S. Quarterly reports are issued based on 1,000 responses per quarter. Respondents are asked a series of four questions. Each question uses a Likert-type scale where respondents rate each question on a 1-5 scale, with one being “Very poor” and 5 being “Very favorable.” The four questions asked are: Involuntary Job Loss Possibility, Likelihood of Promotion, Anticipation of a Raise of at least 3% and Trust in Company Leadership.

To view the entire study, please visit,

About HRO Today Magazine
HRO Today offers the broadest and deepest reach available anywhere into the Human Resources industry. Our magazines, web portals, research, e-Newsletters, events, and social networks reach over 140,000 senior- level HR decision makers with rich, objective game-changing content. Our strength is our reach and the HRO Today Baker’s Dozen Customer Satisfaction Surveys/Rankings.

For over 70 years, Yoh has provided the talent needed for the jobs and projects critical to our clients’ success by providing comprehensive workforce solutions that focus on Aerospace and Defense, Engineering, Federal Services, Health Care, Life Sciences, Information Technology and Telecommunications. Yoh fulfills immediate resource needs and delivers enterprise workforce solutions, including Managed Services, Recruitment Process Outsourcing, Vendor Management Systems, Independent Contractor Compliance, and Payroll Services. For more information, visit

Yoh is a part of Yoh Services LLC, a Day & Zimmermann Company.

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Joe McIntyre
Braithwaite Communications
+1 (215) 564-3200 Ext: 112
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