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Survey says bosses directly impact job satisfaction

September 18 2013

Employees in the United States indicate that direct supervisors are key influencers when it comes to job satisfaction and engagement, according to the global workforce index survey by Kelly Services Inc. (NASD: KELYA).

The survey found that 61 percent of U.S. respondents believe their direct manager or supervisor has a significant impact on their job satisfaction or engagement.

The survey also found that 42 percent of U.S. respondents have changed employers within the past year. Managers and supervisors play a pivotal role in influencing job satisfaction and retention, but many are not heeding the warnings, said Steve Armstrong, senior vice president and general manager of U.S. Operations for Kelly Services.

“It is sometimes said that employees don't leave companies, they leave managers,” he said. “Kelly's research shows that employees prefer to work for managers who clearly communicate with them and explain responsibilities, expectations and opportunities.”

When asked what direct managers and supervisors could do better,aside from salary/benefits or promotion, 49 percent of employees cited more training opportunities; 34 percent cited clearer responsibilities, goals and objectives; and 24 percent said more transparent communications.

Other survey highlights include:

  • 36 percent of workers feel totally committed to their current employer.
  • “More interesting or challenging work” was identified as the top factor that makes employees feel more committed or “engaged” with their job.
  • 42 percent say that they would be likely to recommend their employer to a friend or colleague as an employment opportunity, with company culture/reputation noted most frequently as the most influential factor. 

The global workforce index survey is an annual look at opinions about work and the workplace from a generational viewpoint. More than 120,000 respondents in 31 countries participated in the survey, including more than 18,000 in the United States.

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