Survey Finds Wide Employee Discontent

PHILADELPHIA, PA, November 29, 2011 – Workers continue to feel trapped in their jobs and want to find new employment elsewhere, according to a new poll of more than 1,000 employees in North America by Right Management, the talent and career management expert within ManpowerGroup.

Eighty-four percent of the employees polled said they plan to look for a new position in 2012, reflecting the very same level of discontent in the workplace as the 84% reported a year ago in Right Management’s survey. Like last year, only 5% said they intend to remain in their current position.

Do you plan to pursue new job opportunities in 2012?

2011 2010 2009

Yes, I intend to actively seek a new position. 84% 84% 60%
Maybe, so I’m networking. 9% 8% 21%
Not likely, but I’ve updated my resume. 2% 3% 6%
No, I intend to stay in current position. 5% 5% 13%

“The survey findings reflect a lot of employee dissatisfaction across North America,” said Right Management Executive Vice President Bram Lowsky. “Employees are restless and feel they are lacking in options. The prolonged period of economic uncertainty has meant much less job mobility than usual, and employees understandably believe they have fewer career opportunities, either internally or via a new position.”

According to Lowsky, the findings serve as a barometer of worker distrust in
management as well as job commitment. “It’s a workplace equivalent to whether or not ‘the country is moving in the right direction.’ Sometimes called ‘flight cognition’ by behavioral psychologists, intent to leave is far from an unusual phenomenon but when it applies to four-out-of-five employees for two years running it has to be of top concern to senior management.”

Addressing the distrust may certainly be difficult in a down economy, conceded
Lowsky. “But like elected public officials, senior management need to show they’re up to the challenge of renewed growth and developing a sound strategy moving forward. In the meantime, when the job market picks up many employees are sure to make their move, and employers should expect to lose some top contributors. Top management can’t hope these challenges will go away on their own.”

Lowksy suggested that management identify star performers and have constructive career discussions with them. “These kinds of people always have career options. It’s your job to know who they are, to let them know you know who they are and to tune in to their individual motivators in order to hold onto them.”

Right Management surveyed 1,077 employees in the U.S. and Canada via an online poll that ran from October 15 to November 15, 2011.

About Right Management
Right Management is a global leader in talent and career management workforce solutions within ManpowerGroup. The firm designs and delivers solutions to align talent strategy with business strategy. Expertise spans Talent Assessment, Leader Development, Organizational Effectiveness, Employee Engagement, and Workforce Transition and Outplacement. With offices in over 50 countries, Right Management partners with companies of all sizes – including more than 80% of the Fortune 500 – to help grow and engage their talent, increase productivity and optimize business performance.