According to Robert Mentink, BU Manager of Employee Experience at Integron, there are several reasons why the number of promoters and thus the number of enthusiastic employees is declining. “Promoters at many organizations struggle quite often with work-life balance. Especially enthusiastic employees love their work, but often take on too much for a long time. Here and there, this causes annoyance and more absenteeism. In addition, promoters also notice that life has become more expensive. That is why salary is also in their top list of areas for improvement, as is the desire for more appreciation, especially from their managers. It is not for nothing that we advise organizations not only to invest in making less well-run jobs better, but certainly to put energy into their ‘star performers’. Furthermore, we see the number of detractors (non-recommenders) rising from 19% in 2022 to 21% in 2023. They judge especially harshly the frequent lack of leadership qualities. In addition, employees see too little progress or perspective in terms of salary and fringe benefits.”
Perfect storm: staff shortages almost everywhere
Also a factor in the “enthusiasm drop” is the almost chronic shortage of employees in the labor market. Mentink: “Actually, you could call this a perfect storm . The full width shows this. Movement in the labor market creates local workload spikes within organizations. Looking at the overall picture, we see that the number of people experiencing excessive workload increased by 3% compared to 2022. And for now, we need not expect a decline. People who have applied for another job in the past year are also more likely to perceive their workload as too high: 33% compared to 25% when not applying. The group that experiences a good workload also includes the largest group of promoters. Looking at workload and the enthusiasm of working people in the Netherlands, it appears that top performing organizations with a “good” workload really win. Because our research on the ROI of happy employees shows that promoters, in particular, have lower rates of absenteeism and are less likely to leave for another job.”
Generational differences: Gen Z in particular is ‘on the move’
Zooming in on the different generations, the study shows that especially those who have been in the labor market a little longer have become less enthusiastic. Mentink: “Generation X and baby boomers are both showing a shift by decreasing promoters. Gen Z (born between 1996 and 2005) is fairly divided. There the promoters and detractors are almost balanced. This makes for the lowest eNPS across generations: +2. Moreover, these young employees in particular are the least engaged of the current generation in the labor market. They go “on the move,” so to speak. 34% of Gen Z respondents say they have applied for a job with another employer in the past 12 months. 43% plan to do so next year. For this group it is not directly about satisfaction, but mainly about development and development opportunities. It is a group to watch closely in terms of share and impact. It is expected that by 2025 27% (nearly 3 million people) and by 2030 34% (3.7 million people) of the workforce fall into Generation Z.”
eNPS declines, but remains positive in most industries
For almost every industry, enthusiasm and therefore eNPS (employee Net Promoter Score) is down compared to 2022. But most industries are still on a positive eNPS. Looking at the different industries, the biggest shift is seen within Government. It still had the highest eNPS in 2022 (+26), but now its “enthusiasm” is just above the national average (+7). This is partly due to declining satisfaction with advancement opportunities. The importance of salary also increased, along with dissatisfaction with it. Employees in the installation industry, on the other hand, rank #1 this year with an eNPS of +25. Average satisfaction also increases for them: from 7.3 to 7.5. This increase is mainly caused by the better work-life balance/ more flexible working hours, better relationship with managers (more appreciation and agreements are better kept) and job security. Like last year, the Facilities Services industry measured the lowest eNPS. This spot is shared this year with Wholesale. Both come out at -7.
About Integron – Happy People, that’s what we do it for.
Integron focuses on promoting the happiness of working people at organizations. We make impact through insight. Together, with passion, enthusiasm and fun, we pursue our clients’ strategic goals. Taking a longer-term approach, we offer Employee Experience (EX) and Customer Experience (CX) feedback programs that help build happy employees, delighted customers and a better bottom line.
About the study
Integron conducted the employee experience survey for the fourteenth time through a sample of some 5,000 Dutch people. A representative reflection of the Dutch labor force. The study was conducted in early 2023. It includes the following industries: Construction, Installation, Facility Services, Financial Services, Wholesale Trade, ICT, Industry, Education, Government, Knowledge Intensive Services, Retail, Transportation and Logistics, and Healthcare and Wellness.