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‘Marital Disharmony’ of Managers and Staff


Relationships between employers and employees in many British workplaces resemble a marriage under stress, characterised by poor communications and low levels of trust, according to research released today.

In turn this rocky relationship leads to under-performance, low productivity and high levels of staff turnover.

The conclusions are drawn from a new survey of 2,000 UK employees commissioned by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), and conducted by Kingston Business School and Ipsos MORI.

The survey found:

  • Around one-third of employees say they rarely or never get feedback on their performance.

  • One-quarter (25%) of employees are rarely or never made to feel their work counts.

  • 44% of employees feel under excessive pressure once or twice a week or more.

  • 22% of employees experience high levels of stress, this rises to 32% amongst managers.

  • Almost half of employees are dissatisfied with the relationship with their manager.

  • Around one-quarter of employees rarely or never look forward to going to work.

  • 26% are dissatisfied in their job.

  • 47% of employees are looking for another job or in process of leaving their current job.
  • Catherine Truss, professor of Human Resource Management at Kingston University Business School and lead author of the report, said: "This study clearly shows how much management practice affects people's attitudes towards their work.

    "We found that people who are engaged with their work perform better, are more likely to act as advocates for their employer and experience more job satisfaction. So it is in the interests of everyone to find ways of addressing low levels of engagement in the workplace."

    CIPD employee relations adviser Mike Emmot said: “Getting people to turn up for work is the easy bit. Getting them to go the extra mile requires effort and imagination. Employers should be looking to generate passion and enthusiasm, and to make work a happier experience for all their employees.”

    The survey, Working Life: Employee Attitudes and Engagement 2006, is being launched at the CIPD's Managing Change at Work Conference today (5 December).


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