TW 2010 Global Workforce Study-Comment #1


It’s that time of year again when TowersWatson (formerly TowersPerrin) publishes its always informative Global Workforce Study. The 2010 report, conducted between November/09 and January/10, covered 20,000 full time employees of large and midsize organizations in 22 markets around the globe. Over the next several blog posts I want to highlight and comment on some of their main findings. As always, my focus will be on what the learnings are for managers and leaders.

Three main themes emerged:

  1. The global recession has permanently altered the so-called “contract” between employees and their employers.
  2. There is a gap between what employees want and what employers are able to provide them.
  3. This is a pivotal time when employers have the opportunity to identify and put in place a more flexible, sustainable “deal” for their staff…before the economy takes off again and we see a flood of unhappy employees packing their bags for greener pastures.

Not surprisingly, the downturn has had an impact on the results in this year’s report. It has uncovered a couple of dilemmas:

  • Employees want security above all else (76% of respondents) but only 51% believe it is attainable.
  • People continue to hunker down in their current employment, putting having a stable job above the siren call of career opportunity. 81% are not actively looking for other jobs, despite the fact that 48% see no potential advancement in their current job.

News for leaders and managers! Confidence of employees in their managers’ interpersonal and relational (vs. operational) competence is alarmingly low…

  • Only 38% think their leaders are sincerely interested in their well-being
  • Only 47% see their leaders as trustworthy
  • Just 42% say that their leaders inspire and engage them
  • 53% question whether their managers have time for the people aspects of their job
  • 61% question doubt their managers’ effectiveness in dealing with poor performers.

Clearly we have a woeful shortfall in the people side of leading at all managerial levels. Despite these numbers, TW sees this time as one of great opportunity for employers:

We are at the earliest stages of a significant workplace transformation that will profoundly affect how businesses approach people management and how individuals approach the workplace.

I’ll have some more to say about this in my next couple of postings.

© 2010 – 2016, Ian Cook. All rights reserved.

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Ian Cook, presenter and consultant, works with managers who want to increase their effectiveness as a leader and build a stronger team. To book Ian for a training seminar, team facilitation or keynote presentation, call toll-free at: 1-888-FULCRUM (385-2786) or e-mail: For more articles and book reviews of interest to managers please go to: