Survey finds American workers are happy, rate bosses highly
Kelly Services Global Workforce Index finds satisfaction among world's highest
TROY, Mich. (December 7, 2006) - Despite the everyday gripes that are typical in most work environments, a new study by leading staffing company Kelly Services finds that the overwhelming majority of American employees are happy in their work. On top of that, they give high marks to their bosses!
Nearly two-thirds of U.S. employees - 65 percent - reported that they were either happy or very happy with their current position, while a mere 16 percent were at the opposite end of the satisfaction spectrum. The Kelly Global Workforce Index sought the views of approximately 70,000 people in 28 countries including almost 4,000 in the United States.
"American managers are doing a good job to motivate and engage their employees. The challenge is to continually provide interesting and meaningful work as well as opportunities for employees to learn and more fully develop their own skills," said George Corona, senior vice president of Kelly Services. "The best managers understand a contented and motivated work force will reduce costly turnover and will contribute to the bottom-line through increased productivity."
The U.S. scores are only slightly behind those of the nations with the happiest workers - Denmark (74 percent), Mexico (71 percent) and Sweden (71 percent) - and well ahead of the nations with the least-happy workers - Hungary (44 percent), Russia (48 percent) and Turkey (49 percent).
Job satisfaction is also heavily influenced by how employees view their bosses.
Asked to rate their bosses on a 10-point scale, the American workers gave theirs a respectable 7.3, on average - second only to the 7.6 their Mexican counterparts gave their bosses.
Managers were rated on four attributes - communication, leadership, team spirit and delegation skills. The U.S. workers felt their bosses were best at delegating effectively and weakest when it comes to communication.
"Time and again, workers tell us that they want a workplace with good morale, stimulating work, a degree of autonomy, and meaningful feedback from their bosses," said Corona. "That feedback need not be limited to formal evaluations. Even informal feedback, especially if frequently provided, can make a big difference."
Some 58 percent of U.S. workers said their bosses had rewarded them for a job well done, while 29 percent said they were rarely or never rewarded.
As for who makes the best bosses - men or women - the vast majority (75 percent) said it makes no difference. But 15 percent said they preferred a male boss and 10 percent preferred a female.
Among the U.S. workers surveyed, those happiest in their jobs were in Travel/Leisure (80 percent), Education (74 percent), Science/Pharmaceutical (74 percent), Business Services (71 percent) and Engineering (70 percent).