Employee Advocacy on the Rise in the Wake of Me Too Movement
Spherion Study Finds 41% of Millennials Have Participated in a Protest Against Their Employer
ATLANTA – September, 2019 — The Me Too Movement has had a significant impact on U.S. workplaces, with 42% of companies reporting that they have seen an increase in the number of HR complaints around sexual harassment and/or inappropriate behavior from bosses or co-workers since the movement began. Findings come from the 2019 Emerging Workforce® Study commissioned by Spherion, which also found that 47% of companies have seen an increase in the number of complaints from employees about equal pay and/or career advancement opportunities in the past two years.
The study also found that employees are increasingly taking a stand with their employers around any issues they see as unethical or going against their beliefs. Over half of all employees surveyed – spanning all generations in the workforce – and 66% of Millennials say they would participate in a walkout if their employer did something they deemed unethical or unlawful. In fact, 41% of Millennials surveyed say they have participated in a protest of some form against their employer.
“Employee advocacy is on the rise, and in addition to employees being more willing to stand up for issues, they also increasingly want to work for companies that share their values and interests,” said Spherion President Rebecca Rogers Tijerino. “Reputational factors are growing in importance during every phase of employment from initial recruiting through ongoing employee loyalty as employees seek not just a job but a company that will help them improve their lives and advance their communities.”
In many cases, employees value advocacy over job security. Among those surveyed, 42% of all employees and 59% of Millennials say they would risk their job security to speak out against their employer on an issue they are passionate about – even if speaking out meant they could be fired.
Companies are paying attention: 50% of companies surveyed said that issues stemming from the Me Too Movement have caused their company to make policy and/or process changes.
The 2019 Emerging Workforce Study was conducted online by Research Now. For 22 years, the study has tracked changing trends and attitudes of both workers and their employers. Other topics in this year’s study include: compensation, work/life balance, retention, the talent shortage, the skills gap, impacts of automation on the workforce, and many others.
The 2019 Emerging Workforce Study was conducted online within the United States in March 2019 by Research Now Group, Inc., on behalf of Spherion, in two phases. First, among 731 human resource
managers, with results weighted as needed to reflect the composition of U.S. companies, based on company revenue. Secondly, among 2115 employed adults, with results weighted as needed for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income to represent the target population. No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
Spherion (spherion.com) is a leading recruiting and staffing provider, specializing in temporary and direct hire placement of administrative, clerical, customer service, light industrial and professional job candidates. To help clients attract, engage and retain a high-performance workforce, Spherion offers in-depth market knowledge, outstanding customer service, a strong network of talent and unique insights from its groundbreaking Emerging Workforce® Study, now in its 22nd year. As an industry pioneer, Spherion has, for more than 70 years, matched candidates to clients in virtually every industry across the U.S. Today, each Spherion office is independently owned and operated by a team of local specialists, dedicated to delivering great experiences, powered by technology but always with a personal touch. To learn more about one of the nation’s fastest-growing industries, visit spherion.com/franchise.