Chicago, IL (PRWEB) May 25, 2005
US workers are putting in longer hours than ever before, resulting in increased stress, poor work-life balance and less confidence in corporate leadership, according to results of a new ISR employee opinion study.
The latest ISR employee opinion study polled more than 50,000 US employees at financially high-performing companies from a variety of markets, including the consumer goods, financial services, manufacturing and professional services sectors.
Employees reporting high levels of stress and poor work-personal life balance also reported their leaders as doing a less adequate job of setting clear direction (63% favorable) and communicating to employees about important matters (68% favorable) and encouraging cooperation (79% favorable). Alternatively, the employee opinion study shows that employees reporting low levels of stress and strong work-personal life balance scored 74% favorable on their leadersÂ abilities to set direction, 75% favorable on communicating important matters and 89% favorable on encouraging cooperation.
ÂOne of the more interesting findings that this study confirmed was the direct connection between good management practices and an improved bottom line,Â says Dr. Rebecca Masson, Research Director at ISR.
ISR compared the current studyÂs results to similar recent employee satisfaction studies linking workplace culture to key business outcomes and found managers that sufficiently staff their departments to handle the workload, avoid excessive workload and distribute work fairly, allow flexibility in scheduling, and are considerate of employeesÂ lives outside the workplace will yield more satisfied customers, lower rates of absenteeism and safety incidents, and increased revenue.
Among industrialized economies, the US ranks as one of the highest in average annual hours worked per person, and that ranking has remained virtually unchanged since 1990, according to an International Labor Organization report. US workers are working long hours and those hours will grow even longer as baby boomers retire. The US labor force annual growth rate is projected to decline from an average rate of 1.6 percent over the last 50 years to .6 percent over the next half century (US Dept. of Labor).
How can companies maintain a productive balance between work-personal lives for their employees in an age where the competition for talent is fierce?
ÂRecruiting the right people to promote your brand is vital,Â says Dr. Kim Morris, Project Director at ISR, Âbut employers need to invoke workplace strategies to thwart excessive workload from labor shortages by empowering employees from the bottom up. This can be accomplished through a variety of ways, such as training and development opportunities, encouraging and recognizing good performance, building team effectiveness and cooperation to distribute and share the load, leading with a clear sense of direction, and communicating important matters and decisions throughout the ranks.Â
Other methods for maintaining a productive work-life balance, according to the ISR findings, include the ability to promote a strong workplace management culture. This environment is found to promote effective leadership (especially communication and direction), strong integrity, and clear career opportunities up and down the organization, said Dr. Morris.
Attention Media: Data from the International Labor Organization documenting the annual hours worked per person from 1990-2002 is available upon request.
ISR is an international employee research and consulting firm. Founded in 1974, ISRÂs solutions, including employee satisfaction surveys, help organizations to improve employee engagement, retain key talent, increase productivity, enhance customer satisfaction, and increase shareholder value. ISR has surveyed more than 35 million employees from more than 3,000 companies in 106 countries. For more information, visit ISRÂs website, http://www.isrinsight.com.
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