The latest trends in culture and society from The Harris Poll.

The haze enveloping New York this week from Canadian wildfires, in a way, symbolizes the American mood. We can’t see anything on the horizon very clearly. Our America This Week survey fielded June 2nd to 4th among 2,046 Americans shows many remain unsettled over the economy, inflation (85%), and the War on Ukraine (66%). Yet, concerns around job security have dropped to (44%) from a high of (54%) in early January. Also, the number of Americans who feel we are headed to a recession is dropping weekly.

Here’s what we’ve got this week: With the anti-Pride backlash attacking the likes of Target and others, we have a new poll with Glassdoor revealing the fears LGBTQ+ employees have of being out in their workplaces. Also, the inability to escape work on vacation is a timeless American tradition showing no sign of easing. We also talk to brand leaders about the untapped potential of A.I. in marketing. And lastly, a new study shows how Millennials worry less about their inheritances and more about their parents living a healthy and prosperous retirement with Edward Jones and Age Wave. 

You can download the new ATW monthly summary tabs and May deck here.

Nearly Half of LGBTQ+ Employees Say Being Out At Work Could Hurt Their Careers: Glassdoor-Harris Poll

To create an inclusive workplace, employers must do more than adopt a rainbow logo for June, according to recent research with Glassdoor as featured in H.R. Dive

  • About (45%) of LGBTQ+ employees said being out in the workplace could hurt their careers (e.g., losing a job, not getting a promotion, not being selected for a project) – a slight decline from (47%) who said the same back in 2019. 
  • And LGBTQ+ employees are already worried about their job security: As of this week, our America This Week tracker found that over half of LGBTQ+ employees are concerned about their losing their jobs (53% v. non-LGBTQ+: 42%). 
  • Office culture isn’t always warm and welcoming: More than half (55%) of LGBTQ+ employees said they’ve experienced or witnessed anti-LGBTQ+ comments by co-workers – a slight increase from (53%) in 2019.
  • What could companies do? Take steps to drive change: Creating LGBTQ+ employee resource groups, educational programming, and sharing preferred pronouns are just a few ways inclusive companies support their LGBTQ+ workers. Embrace LGBTQ+ company-sponsored events and educational programming, and listen to your LGBTQ+ coworkers throughout the year to create safe spaces at work.
  • Companies also need to reinforce their commitments to their employees given the toxic far-right attacks on Pride month currently in swing: As our Axios Harris Poll 100 found that the companies with the highest reputation – Patagonia, Costco, and John Deere – were those with the best company culture and commitment to the employee experience. 

Takeaway: “Many companies will change their logos to rainbows for Pride this month, but looks aren’t always as they seem,” Glassdoor wrote. “For LGBTQ+ job seekers, real inclusivity and employee support can be easily muddied with performative actions like companies sharing their support only with profile pics that fade after June.”

Outlook, Teams, & Slack Join Vacationers: Ceridian-Harris Poll

With the arrival of warmer weather in North America and the U.K., many employees are turning their attention to time away from work to rest, recharge, and refocus. However, according to our latest survey with Ceridian, not everyone can genuinely unplug while they’re away from work.

  • Employees need a break: Nearly all employees (87%) in the U.S., U.K., and Canada reported experiencing some symptoms of burnout in the past year.
  • And vacations could save the day as three-quarters (75%) of employees say taking a break improves their mental and physical health (49%) while also improving their productivity and job satisfaction once back to work (46%, 40%).
  • However, it’s not all paradise: Less than half (47%) say they disconnect from work entirely while they’re away, and that number drops to (41%) for U.S. workers compared to (51%) for U.K. workers and (50%) for Canadians.

Takeaway: Managers and H.R. leaders shouldn’t necessarily be mandating time off for employees, as dictating how employees spend their time can backfire, but they should communicate expectations clearly: taking a vacation is a good thing, and managers will contact them directly if something urgent arises that requires their attention. Other than that, employees shouldn’t need to check in while they’re away.

Most CMOs See Value, But Not A Game Plan For AI: Sprout Social-Harris Poll

How do we get past the A.I. hype to actual use cases? That’s the sentiment in a Sprout Social/Harris Poll covered by a.list: Most marketers are ready to embrace A.I. and ML (machine learning) tools as a part of their creative arsenal, but many are unsure how to proceed.

  • Majorities of business leaders view social media data and insights to have a profound impact on their business priorities, such as building brand reputation and loyalty (94%):

  • As much as (97%) of business leaders believe A.I. and ML tools will help them analyze social media data more efficiently, and (86%) see A.I. and ML implementation as critical for long-term business success.
  • Yet many leaders see significant barriers to using those tools for marketing, such as insufficient training and development for business leaders to effectively implement A.I. (39%) and limited organization experience with A.I. (37%):

  • A.I. tools are an opportunity as our America This Week Tracker found that over half of Americans (54%) – and even more younger Americans (Gen Z: 66%, Millennials: 71%) – want more personalization from brands than ever.

Takeaway: Social media has become an epicenter of consumers’ daily lives. It’s where news breaks, trends emerge, and communities form. The more social’s influence expands, the more vital social media data and insights become to running a successful, competitive organization. The business case for social has already been made. Today the conversation has shifted to how teams, within and beyond marketing, can make the most of their resources.

The Newest Retirement Tradeoff: Edward Jones-Age Wave-Harris Poll

Instead of saying, “Don’t spend my inheritance,” Millennials want their parents to live and spend well in new Harris research with Edward Jones and Age Wave in Financial Planning

  • Millennials are worried about their parent’s financial health: Over two-thirds (68%) of Millennials worry that their parents may not have enough money to live comfortably in retirement and may become financially dependent on them (61%).
  • So they’re telling their parents to spend it, not give it: Most Millennials (83%) report their parents’ financial security in retirement matters more to them than receiving an inheritance.
  • Many pre-retirees and retirees seem to be listening as over 6 in 10 say would or have limited financial support to adult children or other family members (63% and 69%, respectively) and limiting bequests to heirs (55% and 63%).

Takeaway: “Course corrections can make the difference between thriving and struggling in retirement,” added Lena Haas, Head of Wealth Management Advice and Solutions at Edward Jones. “This research makes us optimistic that many of today’s and tomorrow’s retirees will make resilient choices to thrive in their retirement, setting themselves up for an active, engaged, and purposeful life.”

Download the Data

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by The Harris Poll from June 2nd to 4th among a nationally representative sample of 2,046 U.S. adults.

John Gerzema headshot

John Gerzema


Download the Data

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by The Harris Poll from June 2nd to 4th among a nationally representative sample of 2,046 U.S. adults.


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