Workers Say Company Cost Cutting is Degrading Quality But Workers Report Greater Job Satisfaction Than 2 Years Ago Biggest Stressors: Family, War, & Terrorism

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11th Annual "Attitudes in the American Workplace Poll" by Harris Interactive® for The Marlin Company

Cost-cutting is taking its toll on the quality of products everyone buys.

In a new national survey, nearly half the workers surveyed report that company cost cutting is degrading the quality of the goods and services they produce.

The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive® for the Marlin Company, the workplace communication experts, also finds that lower income workers (incomes less than $20,000 per year) and those with the least education are more likely to report this trend than higher income, more-educated workers.

The Marlin Company’s 11th “Annual Attitudes in the American Workplace” survey of American workers was conducted in May and June and has a sampling error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.

“The findings on cost-cutting and quality reflect what the employees manning the trenches are seeing on the job. Workers on the factory floor, on construction sites and in customer service know first-hand what is happening,” said Frank Kenna III, president of The Marlin Company, which improves employee morale, performance and productivity through innovative communication programs that reach all employees.

"Employees see what's going on inside their own companies -- short term cost reduction without regard for quality or the challenge of foreign competition -- and they project these problems on to the whole U.S. economy,” said Dr. Paul Bracken, professor of management at Yale University.

“Many are stressed at work and worried about America's future. To me, this is a very negative picture of American management and its ability to send a confident message to its most important asset, its workers," said Bracken.

Work Beats Winning The Lottery

The survey also found that the majority of U.S. workers are very satisfied with their jobs and significantly more satisfied than in 2003. In fact, workers are so satisfied that the majority would not quit their jobs right away – even if they won the lottery.

Professionals and blue-collar workers are less likely than those in clerical and sales positions to say they would quit their jobs.

Family and War/Terrorism Biggest Stressors

Threats of war and terrorism are taking their toll on workers. While the biggest stress remains family, the stress of war and terrorism has increased. There are regional differences in how workers experience stress. Regardless of location, war and terrorism are ranked a close second to family for those in the Midwest, South and West. War and terrorism are ranked a more distant second for those in the Northeast.

"Along with their lunches and iPods, many employees bring a variety of stress to work each day," said Kenna. "Although many managers know that it’s important to deal with employees’ job-related stress, most unfortunately don't acknowledge the fact that most stress comes from outside the company walls. Those managers who do, however, are light years ahead of their competitors in providing an emotionally secure and fertile workplace environment."


Harris Interactive® conducted the “11th Annual ‘Attitudes in the Workplace’” telephone survey on behalf of The Marlin Company between May 25 and June 8, 2005 among a nationwide cross section of 757 U.S. adults ages 18 and over who are employed full- or part-time. Figures for age, sex, race, and region were weighted where necessary to align them with their actual proportions in the population. In theory, with a probability sample of this size, one can say with 95 percent certainty that the overall results have a sampling error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points of what they would be if the entire U.S. adult population had been polled with complete accuracy. Sampling error for the various sub-samples is higher and varies.

About The Marlin Company

For more than 90 years, The Marlin Company has been the Workplace Communication Experts™ helping companies improve employee morale, productivity and performance through the innovative use of original, visually engaging content that is displayed in Communication Stations that can be managed through print or Internet distribution. Its stations, which contain content customized by industry, are helping more than 8,000 companies of all sizes improve workplace attitudes and behavior. Through its many years of experience, The Marlin Company has developed a strong database of, and experience in, issues affecting the workplace. It routinely surveys thousands of clients to determine their current issues, works with industry experts across North America, and conducts national polling. Since 1995, it has conducted its annual "Attitudes in the American Workplace" Labor Day poll. In the early years, the Gallup Organization conducted the polling. Harris Interactive has done so since 2001. For more information, please see


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Wendy Marx