Satisfaction Falling

The Conference Board has just published a report on job satisfaction, saying that “Americans are growing increasingly unhappy with their jobs. The decline in job satisfaction is widespread among workers of all ages and across all income brackets.”

Here’s a tidbit: “Half of all Americans today say they are satisfied with their jobs, down from nearly 60 percent in 1995. But among the 50 percent who say they are content, only 14 percent say they are “very satisfied.””

Very interesting. It has me thinking, Why is job satisfaction falling?

While I'm sure there are a lot of reasons, I suspect that a number of them cluster around the dimension of "caring." Employees have come to feel that their employers don't care much about them.

From where I sit, here are some signs & symptoms I have noticed:

- Employees are so much overhead cost, to be reduced as much as possible, even if that means that the folks who remain, after the downsizings, are overworked and stressed out.

- Hard-working, loyal employees are terminated, told to pack up-and-go, escorted out of the building by security, and dismissed, tossed out like so much trash. No farewell parties.

- When knowledge-rich, experienced employees are fired, is it preceded by a knowledge transfer period for transitioning that knowledge to others? Not that I've seen.

- Employees are race horses, to be ridden hard, far, and fast. If the horse burns out or breaks down, so what?

- Employees are not to be trusted. Unless management puts controls in place, employees will goof off, cut corners, and steal from the company.

Put such attitudes and practices like these together with the off-shoring trend, and I can see why employee job satisfaction is falling.


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