Survey: Mismatch Between Serious Work-Life Issues and 2010 Company Plans

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The top work-life issues being addressed in 2010 do not track with the most serious employee issues - workload and stress/burnout

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In 2009, only 19 percent of companies with a global workforce had a quarter or more of their work-life efforts focused globally. But over half of survey respondents predict their global focus will increase in 2010.

A new survey by WFD Consulting and Alliance for Work-Life Progress (AWLP) at WorldatWork, "The State of Work-Life 2010," found a steady commitment to work-life initiatives among senior management in a wide range of industries. However, the survey also found a curious mismatch between the most serious workforce issues identified by companies and where they are investing their resources.

When asked to identify the top two work-life issues facing their companies in 2010, employers most frequently cited stress/burnout, excessive workload, and employee engagement/commitment. While half of the companies in the study expect to address employee engagement/commitment, few seek to resolve the root causes of workload and stress/burnout, opting instead to address the symptoms of those problems with wellness/resilience/energy programs and flexibility policies. Interestingly, nearly half of the companies will address career management in 2010, yet only 15 percent viewed it as a serious issue.

"Of particular concern," notes Peter Linkow, president of WFD Consulting, "is that we seem to be committing the bulk of our resources in 2010 to areas we believe are less important."

"There are a variety of explanations for this mismatch between needs and plans," said Kathie Lingle, executive director of Alliance for Work-Life Progress (AWLP). "One key possibility is that while many work-life professionals have a clear conception of the most serious organizational issues, they do not independently set the agenda for what actually gets addressed."

On a positive note, the survey found a widespread dedication to general work-life issues, with 83 percent of respondents saying senior leadership commitment to work-life issues at their company has increased or held steady. The commitment of human and monetary resources to work-life endeavors has remained stable. Notably, most companies predict the focus on work-life will expand globally.

"So far, work-life has predominantly been focused domestically," said Linkow. "In 2009, only 19 percent of companies with a global workforce had a quarter or more of their work-life efforts focused globally. But over half of survey respondents predict their global focus will increase in 2010."

To register for a complimentary copy of the report, visit http://www.wfd.com/news/register-wl2010.html.

About the Survey
WFD Consulting and Alliance for Work-Life Progress (AWLP) at WorldatWork sponsored this survey, conducted in February 2010 by WFD. Fifty-five companies (mostly Fortune 500) responded, representing a wide range of industries including energy, financial services, food and agriculture, health care, hi-tech, manufacturing, professional services, and pharmaceuticals.

About WFD Consulting
WFD Consulting (http://www.wfd.com), based in Boston, is a management consulting firm with over 25 years of experience developing and implementing work-life, diversity and talent management solutions for Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, and colleges and universities. WFD's action-oriented solutions are based on sound research and measurement, draw on its extensive global experience and emphasize innovation.

About Alliance for Work-Life Progress ®
Alliance for Work-Life Progress (http://www.awlp.org) is dedicated to advancing work-life as a business strategy integrating work, family and community. An entity of WorldatWork, AWLP defines and recognizes innovation and best practices, facilitates dialogue among various sectors and promotes work-life thought leadership.

Media Contacts
Jan Civian, 617-219-8712
Marcia G. Rhodes, 480-304-6885

This press release was distributed through PRWeb by Human Resources Marketer (HR Marketer: http://www.HRmarketer.com) on behalf of the company listed above.

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