October 2010 —

Greensboro, NC – In a downturned economy that’s left companies downsized, it’s easy to hear news of disenchanted workers. However, research by the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) found more satisfaction than discontent in America’s workplace — certainly in the professional and managerial ranks.

The Center recently released a new annual report on Workplace Attitudes that reflects the feelings of more than 1,500 North American managers and other professionals who responded to CCL’s World Leadership Survey. They were found to be mostly happy, highly motivated employees who are committed to their organizations and plan to stay put in their current jobs. Of those surveyed, 90 percent said they like working for their company and 80 percent reported being satisfied in their jobs.

“The fact that people at various levels in the organization reported a positive attitude about their workplace environment is encouraging in this difficult economy.” says Jennifer Deal, a senior research scientist with CCL. “Positive employee attitudes are critical to organizational stability and contribute substantially to an organization’s continued success.

“Job satisfaction, commitment and a belief that an organization is supportive often leads to decreased absenteeism, lower turnover and better job performance, which directly impacts the bottom line,” she adds.

Respondents may be happy, but it doesn’t mean they don’t feel overworked. More than 90 percent reported working more than 40 hours a week, and more than half of them — especially women — reported work-life conflict and work overload.

“These employees have been willing to step up and help their employers by working long hours for the same — or less — in pay and benefits, but at some point that pace is no longer sustainable,” says Deal. “The work overload results indicate that point is rapidly approaching.”

Interestingly, older employees reported greater joy in their work than younger people, regardless of job level. “While some would suggest that this is evidence of an apathetic attitude among the younger generations, the most likely explanation is a simple one: Older people are on average just happier than are people in the 30s and 40s,” Deal explains.

Other findings in the CCL report include:

  • Business Health: 81 percent of those surveyed were generally positive about their organization’s economic health and stability and believe it “has a bright future” despite an uncertain global economy.
  • Turnover Plans: 78 percent do not intend to quit their jobs, while 73 percent said they are not presently thinking about quitting their job.
  • Workplace Politics: 48 percent said they are encouraged to speak out frankly, even when being critical of established ideas, while 45 percent said it’s sometimes easier to remain quiet than fight the system.

The results overall did not vary greatly from a similar CCL Report issued in 2008 indicating that job satisfaction and commitment to an organization have remained high in this population despite the poor economy.

View the complete 2010 CCL Workplace Attitude Report.

About the Center for Creative Leadership

The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®) is a top-ranked, global provider of leadership development. By leveraging the power of leadership to drive results that matter most to clients, CCL transforms individual leaders, teams, organizations and society. Our array of cutting-edge solutions is steeped in extensive research and experience gained from working with hundreds of thousands of leaders at all levels. Ranked among the world's Top 10 providers of executive education by Financial Times, CCL has offices in Greensboro, NC; Colorado Springs, CO; San Diego, CA; Brussels, Belgium; Moscow, Russia; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Johannesburg, South Africa; Singapore; New Delhi-NCR, India; and Shanghai, China.

Stephen Martin
Center for Creative Leadership
+1 336 286 4038

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