Worried and distracted employees make poor financial decisions

Employers haven’t done enough to foster employee engagement, according to Towers Watson’s 2012 Global Workforce Study. Employee engagement is defined as employees who are willing to go the extra mile for their employer.

According to Towers Watson, there is a clear relationship between high levels of employee engagement and improved financial and operational results.

Thirty-five percent of the 32,000 full-time workers who participated in the study are highly engaged. That isn’t surprising if you consider the economic turmoil the country has been in for the past five years or “nearly a decade of competing in a “flat” world and more than a decade of being connected 24/7,” the report found.

It found that stress and anxiety about the future are common, with almost four out of 10 respondents saying they are bothered by excessive pressure on the job. Fifty-four percent said they often worry about their future financial state and 56 percent agree retirement security is more important today than a few years ago.

Thirty-nine percent of respondents said they expect to retire somewhat or much later than planned.

Retirement security is becoming much more important, with four out of 10 respondents saying they would trade a smaller salary increase or bonus for a guaranteed retirement benefit that doesn’t rise or fall with the market, also known as a defined benefit.

Salary and job security now top the list of what people want when considering a new job, followed by opportunities to learn new skills and build a career.

Retaining employees has more to do with the quality of the work experience overall, the report found. Just under half of respondents said their organization’s leaders have a sincere interest in employee well-being, while fewer than half felt their direct supervisors had enough time to deal with the people aspect of their jobs.

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