Employee satisfaction survey says workers are not happy

Image of an office worker on the face of a clock. The worker points to more money – and quitting time.

Clock watchers of the world, unite! But don't give up your job unless you're prepared. (Photo Credit: CC BY-SA/GRC ImageNet)

The reality for many when it comes to being gainfully employed during the recession is that one should be thankful to have a job at all. However, a recent employee satisfaction survey by national job placement firm Manpower indicates that employees are ready to look the gift horse square in the mouth. A whopping 84 percent of those surveyed will search for a new job come 2011.

Employee satisfaction survey shows huge difference from last year

When Manpower conducted the same employee satisfaction survey at the end of 2009, a much smaller number of respondents openly admitted to gearing up for a job hunt: 60 percent. This only takes into account people who are already consistently employed. It should be a given that those out of work will keep looking, but frustration has lurked around every corner for many of these employment seekers.

The “quits” rate as calculated by the U.S. Department of Labor is still at an all-time low, which likely indicates that a worker’s ability to change jobs could currently be classified as “severely challenged.”

Longing and disappointment

Paul Bernard, a veteran executive coach and career management adviser, told CNN Money that long-term employees who have suffered through years of frozen compensation have become disenchanted with their jobs. The necessity to earn a paycheck is there, but the emotional investment in one’s place of employment becomes more difficult as the work employees are asked to do – and paid no more for than they were a year or two before – begins to matter less with each passing day.

The level of employee dissatisfaction expressed in the Manpower survey should be taken as “a wake-up call to management,” said Manpower division COO Douglas Matthews. This has to do with dissatisfied workers and general discontent, rather than standard projections of employee turnover.

Failures of expectation

One respondent named Lauren told CNN Money that the job she was able to get out of college is in an environment where “I’m not learning anything and am not challenged by any of my work. … It just makes me feel like I’m wasting my time.”


CNN Money

‘Freakonomics’ author on the failure of employee incentives

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