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Workers Are in a Bad Mood, Says Survey

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Workers Are in a Bad Mood, Says Survey

PHILADEPHIA, PA – January 31, 2012 – Most employees say their job is unrewarding and saps their energy, according to a new survey by Right Management, the talent and career management experts within ManpowerGroup. Only one-in-five consider their job rewarding and gratifying…and the rest say they just want to enjoy their lives and that is why they work.

The survey was conducted in December and January and 438 North American workers responded to the question:

Which of the following best describes your present work situation?

  • 21% My job is rewarding and gratifying.
  • 30% I want to enjoy my life, so I work.
  • 49% My job is unrewarding and saps my energy.

“The survey findings are like barometer that tells us something about the mood in today’s workplace,” said Michael Haid, Senior Vice President for Right Management, which provides talent development and outplacement services to Fortune 500 companies. “Employees are clearly in a grumpy mood, a trend we’ve tracked for more than a year. In better times we probably would have found just a minority complain that their energy is being sapped and so forth, but now it is almost a majority of employed North Americans who seem to be unhappy.”

The prevailing bad mood is related to workplace pressures that were building for the past three years, believes Haid. “In recent surveys Right Management found that fewer workers feel they may step away from their desk for a lunch break or even take all the vacation due them. And we learned that many feel trapped in their job or resent that they’re expected to respond to work emails on the weekend. Meanwhile, staffs are leaner and workloads bigger. Our new findings are consistent with this prior research and are an indicator of poor morale at most organizations.”

Unfortunately, the widespread disaffection stems from factors largely beyond the control of most employers, said Haid. “The job market is sluggish, job mobility is down, businesses aren’t expanding fast enough, yet every day the job has to get done. The good news, I suppose, is that so many workers are nevertheless engaged and productive, despite the pressures they face.”

Haid advises employers to develop proactive strategies to engage people in their work. “Some efforts may be simple or obvious, such as acknowledging that times are difficult. Sometime it’s just necessary to be seen trying to make a difference. And for larger organizations the engagement strategy needs to be more sophisticated, but genuine as well.”

About Right Management

Right Management is the global leader in talent and career management workforce solutions. As the workforce consulting experts 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.

Media Contact: Shari Fryer, Shari Fryer & Associates,, 970-846-6607.