Gartner Says Employee Confidence in the Economy is Strong While Discretionary Effort is on the Decline

Employees’ confidence in business conditions reached a seven year high in 4Q 2017, according to CEB, now Gartner. Data from the latest Global Talent Monitor report shows employee confidence in the Business Confidence Index reached 54.9 in 4Q 2017, up from a score of 53 in 4Q 2016.

With employee confidence rising, employees are looking more at other opportunities. According to the latest data, 33 percent of employees worldwide intend to stay with their organization, down 1.3 percent from 3Q 2017.

Job-seeking activity was the highest in India, with an active/passive score (the measure to which employees are inclined to and demonstrate efforts to look for a new job )of 65 in 4Q 2017, a 5.7 percent increase from 3Q 2017, and up 1.4 percent year-over-year. Other notable results showed Brazil job-seeking behavior scored a 52.6, up 1.7 percent from 3Q 17 and 10.7 percent year-over-year. The UK job-seeking activity was at 43.4, up 5.3 percent year-over-year, and the U.S. had a score of 36.9, down 5.3 percent year-over-year.

“To prevent top talent from looking elsewhere for new work, organizations must improve their internal job perceptions,” said Brian Kropp, HR practice leader at Gartner. “Push career opportunities to employees based on tier interests and aspirations, and target passive internal candidates by building opportunities before they become dissatisfied and look elsewhere.”

Discretionary Effort Drop Drastically in North America

Employee discretionary effort (employee willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty), was reported by 15.8 percent of employees (see Table 1), a record low for Global Talent Monitor. North America experienced the sharpest decline in employee discretionary effort, dropping 3.1 percent from 3Q 2017.

“Organizations need to better understand the motivations and morale of their employees, which can be gauged by purposefully collecting feedback from the staff. Increase the effort of employees who plan to remain in their positions by effectively responding to their critical feedback in engagement surveys,” Mr. Kropp said.

Table 1
Percentage of Employees Reporting High Levels of Discretionary Effort, by Region


Percentage of Employees

4Q17-3Q17 Growth (%)

Latin America



North America



Australia and New Zealand












Source: Gartner (March 2018)

Global Talent Monitor data is drawn from the larger Gartner Global Labor Market Survey which is made up of more than 22,000 employees in 40 countries. The survey is conducted quarterly and is reflective of market conditions during the quarter preceding publication. Visit to learn more and compare talent data from around the world.

Additional analysis on HR and talent trends will be presented during Gartner ReimagineHR, taking place May 14-15 in Sydney, Australia; September 5-6 in London; and October 28-30 in Orlando, Florida. During the event Gartner analysts and HR executives will share key insights and actionable strategies for how HR can support organizational performance when tomorow is uncertain. Follow news and updates from the events on social media using #GartnerHR.

About CEB, Now Gartner

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