Companies in the U.S. have laid off nearly 300,000 workers in the first quarter of this year. While staff reductions are increasing,unemployment is still relatively low and the battle to retain good, talented, loyal employees continues.

Companies that have laid off workers still face the challenge of keeping their best employees to run the business effectively andprofitably. The latest workforce data from Randstad North America and Roper Starch Worldwide give employers new insights into whatthey should consider to attract and retain the most talented workers, thereby reducing operational costs associated with recruiting andhiring new employees.

The 2001 Randstad North American Employee Review explores generational mindsets about satisfaction, motivation and success intoday? s workforce. It identified the three key elements that drive employee satisfaction, and it also uncovered some myths about the wayMature Workers, Baby Boomers, GenXers and GenYers view work, which may help employers better understand and manageemployees of different generations.

Generational differences
The Randstad Review unveils some information regarding some generational myths and stereotypes. For instance, rather than beingstagnant in a job while waiting for retirement, 81% of Mature Workers (ages 55 to 69) are interested in trying new things. GenXers? work styles do not mirror the myth of being job-hopping slackers; 77% of GenXers (ages 21 to 35) say that success is finding a companywhere you want to work for a long time, and 73% find satisfaction in knowing their work helps clients or customers.

Baby Boomers may be known as the selfish ? Me? generation, but in reality Baby Boomers (ages 36 to 54) truly want to make acontribution to their clients and employers.

GenYers are often viewed as having a sense of entitlement and wanting opportunities handed to them; however, the truth is, GenYers(born after 1980) have an entrepreneurial spirit that makes them very self-reliant, the survey found.

What drives employee satisfaction?
Success in the workplace is not judged just by the size of a paycheck. The Randstad Review found three key elements that driveemployee satisfaction: trust, flexibility and a career mindset. Nine out of ten employees (91%) define true success as being trusted to geta job done, surpassing fulfillment from money or a title. Flexibility is still important to the 2001 workforce ? employees are not willing to give up the flexible work schedules that have emergedover the last 10 years ? and 67% of people ranked flexibility as part of their definition of workplace success. Employees who have someflexibility in when, where or how they get their work done are more satisfied with their jobs.

More than three-quarters of employees say finding a company where they want to work for a long time is important, and nearly six in10 say that it would be great if an employer helped them with career planning. Employees are eager to receive training and counseling tohelp them excel in their work. By fostering the career mentality through training, employers demonstrate commitment to an employeethat can result in employee loyalty.

Survey methodology
The 2001 Randstad North America Employment Review study was based on a sample of more than 2,300 telephone interviews and300 online interviews conducted among adults aged 18 to 65 who are either working or plan to enter the workforce within the next 10years. The online portion of the study was conducted through DMS, the online reach practice of America Online, with 300 Americans who subscribe to America Online.

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