Worldwide Workplace Discord

The global workforce is experiencing a wave of disinterest as a Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS) report indicates that 35 percent of employees have little commitment to work and their companies.

The data comes from interviews with 19,840 full time employees (including 2,000 in the U.S.) during April 2002 in 33 countries, using a measurement system that assesses commitment levels and job satisfaction. The results indicate that 57 percent are committed to their work, 51 percent are committed to their company; and 43 percent are committed to both their work and company.

The highest levels of total commitment are noted in the fields of educational services, health and social services, and information services. Transport, manufacturing, and construction employees demonstrated the lowest rates of commitment.

Men are more committed than women, especially in reference to their company (51 percent compared to 40 percent), however the genders are more evenly matched when assessing their commitment to work – 57 percent of men and 55 percent of women.

Lack of total commitment was expressed by 59 percent of employees in Japan, 58 percent in Bulgaria, and 55 percent in Korea, while the highest levels were among employees in Israel (59 percent) and Norway (57 percent).

TNS categorized respondents into representative groups:

  • “Ambassadors” had the highest levels of total commitment, accounting for 44 percent of global respondents, and 41 percent of U.S. respondents.
  • “Company Oriented” describes the group who are more committed to the enterprise than their career. Both global and U.S. figures were at 8 percent for this group.
  • The “Career Oriented” category included those that showed more of a commitment to work than company. The U.S. led the global figures: 20 percent versus 14 percent.
  • The “Disengaged” were not committed to career or company, and they accounted for 35 percent of global respondents and 31 percent of U.S.

Chuck Cornwell, TNS senior vice president and global organizational development practice head, summarizes the results: “We have found that successful companies are populated with top performing and fully-dedicated employees who have clear expectations of the organization and have ongoing opportunities to contribute something significant while learning and growing as individuals.”

Disinterest in the workplace has apparently spread beyond the office. Vault.com surveyed 263 U.S. professionals about holiday parties and found that almost 36 percent didn’t expect to attend their end-of-year office party, and more than 16 percent were undecided. These results represent a vast difference from the 2000 poll, which indicated that more than 88 percent planned on attending their company’s holiday party.

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