Survey Findings Boost Need for Management Practices Changes

Talent published an article in mid July, 2010, that expressed the desires of U.S. workers to have management practices changed. The article notes that Americans who work at larger organizations are optimistic about their companies’ prospects and express a commitment to helping management identify and solve problems. However, most workers say management practices need to change if their companies are to meet future challenges. It is not top-management personnel that ensure the quality of products and services to customers. It’s the rank-and-file employees who bear the greatest responsibility and make this connection to consumer quality.

These are insights from “Employees First,” a just-released national, random-digit-dial telephone survey of 704 American employees of private sector companies with 300 or more employees. The “Employees First” survey, fielded during June 2010, was commissioned and sponsored by HCL Technologies, a global IT services company headquartered in India.

According to the survey, American workers are optimistic and eager. Here are a couple of the statistics:

1. 83% of American workers still believe their companies will emerge from the downturn as industry leaders.

2. 78% say they’re confident their top management can create an environment that values employee ideas and suggestions.

But leadership apparently under-leverages – and even under-appreciates – employee enthusiasm and engagement. Here are a few more study findings:

1. 60% of employees say customers are the most valued group at the company, followed by top management (20%) and then, at the bottom, employees (15%). (Nearly half – 48% – say, explicitly, that employees are the least valued group at the company.)

2. A fifth of workers say that when they present their supervisors with a business problem, the supervisors say they’ll deal with the problem and don’t actually address it.

This survey also found signs of employee frustration with current leadership attitudes and actions. The results show that American workers’ confidence in company leadership and engagement with work may be disintegrating, especially among Gen Y and Gen X employees, who represent the immediate future. Look at these survey results:

1. Most workers – 55% – believe management practices will need to change in order for companies to effectively confront future challenges. In fact, nearly two-thirds (64%) of workers in their 30’s and nearly as many in their 40’s hold that view.

2. While 47% of workers overall say they’re committed to staying with their current companies, more than a quarter (27%) of workers age 29 or younger say they’re not committed to the company.

This survey was conducted to test some of the ideas in Vineet Nayar’s book, Employees First, Customers Second. To learn more about the survey or Nayar’s books, click here to read the full article.

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