Who’s your biggest morale problem?

No doubt you’ve made some tough belt-tightening decisions in the past few months, and they’ve put extra pressure on your employees. Those moves have taken a toll on worker loyalty, commitment and motivation, according to new research. Who’s complaining the most?

A recent survey found that “engagement levels” — consultant-speak for employee loyalty and motivation — have dropped 9% across all classes of workers. But there’s more: That loyalty and motivation level has dropped almost 25% for top performers over the past year.

The stars are unhappy

Indeed, top performers appear to be the least-happy campers. Nearly 20% fewer of the best and brightest would recommend others take jobs with their employers. Twenty-six percent are less satisfied with advancement opportunities than they were last year, and they’re 14% less likely to stick with their current employer once the economic picture brightens.

Two more disturbing stats from the top-performers: 29% say they’re less confident this year that management will be able to grow the business. And 41% think pay and benefit changes instituted over the past 12 months have hurt work quality and customer service.

Overall, not a pretty picture. What can employers do? There’s probably no secret formula. Open communication, performance-based incentives and low-cost perks — flexible schedules, for instance — can certainly help.

And it also pays to remember that employees are a notoriously fickle lot. As the economy improves and everybody gets a few more bucks in their pockets, attitudes will likely improve.

For a look at the Executive Summary of the Watson Wyatt survey, go here.

0 thoughts on “Who’s your biggest morale problem?”

  1. Everyone is being affected by tough economic times we are living in but this is not the only reason why employees are dissatisfied with their companies. Yes, cutting salaries, not offering salary increases, or perks are important but these are not the only reasons why employees, top performers will leave the companies as the economy turns around.
    One of the reasons why these employees will leave is due to the “poor communication on behalf of their managers or top executives as well as the behavior exhibited by the upper management in times of trouble. If managers/executives have been “shooting orders left and right”, making emotional decisions, and not using their emotioanl intelligence to deal with the every day challenges, then I will say yes, the top performers will leave. People get tired of the same “chaos” and unresolved issues.

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