Almost 60% of the workforce either hate their jobs or have a ho-hum attitude while the rest really love their work or gain satisfaction from it, according to the first wave of the Leadership Management Australasia's L.E.A.D. (Leadership Employment & Direction) Survey for 2011.
LMA's Managing Director, Grant Sexton, said so many people either hating or being ambivalent about their work was a contributing factor to Australasia's languishing productivity.
"A predominant percentage of the workforce is performing at a level of personal productivity below their capability," he said.
"There are just too many people with a ho-hum attitude, too many just going through the motions and dragging the chain no wonder we still have 20 per cent of the workforce actively looking for a different role."
In its eleventh year, the ongoing L.E.A.D. survey is an authoritative study of workplace trends and issues conducted three times a year by Chase Research on the commission of LMA. The survey completed last week involved over 3,500 respondents throughout Australia and New Zealand (433 respondents) across 17 industry sectors.
Mr Sexton said that of great concern is the fact that one in six people in the workforce hate their jobs, but say they still have to earn a living. This includes 17% of Business Leaders and Senior Managers, 15% of Middle and Frontline Managers and 16% of other employees.
Nearly half the Leaders and Senior Managers have a neutral view of their jobs (48%). They look for fulfillment in other parts of their lives or find their job OK but would prefer to be doing something else. A sizeable proportion of Middle and Frontline Managers (39%) and Employees (38%) also feel the same way.
Mr Sexton said that some of the factors causing Leaders and Senior Managers to be dissatisfied with their jobs are:
Lack of work/life balance
Difficulties associated with finding and retaining good staff and
Higher staff turnover.
The pressures of people and talent management are weighing down Leaders and contributing to disillusionment. Middle Level Managers retain many of the same concerns about work/life balance and the pressures of finding and retaining the right people, Mr Sexton said.
"Organisations need to engage their leaders because they in turn influence the engagement, morale, productivity and commitment of the greater workforce," he said.
"With Australia facing overall skill and talent shortages for the future, we can't afford to have such high levels of disengagement and low workplace commitment. Not only are organisations suffering in the area of productivity they are also still shouldering the added cost of staff turnover."
At the opposite end of the scale, only 28% of Leaders said they loved their jobs or gained a great deal of satisfaction from the work they do. Engagement with their role was higher in this area of Middle Level Managers (37%) and Employees (37%).
Leaders - more detail
Leaders with negative attitudes to their jobs are working the same number of hours as those with neutral or positive views (around 50 hours a week), but they don't feel they have the right balance between work and other aspects of their lives (49% compared to 60% for those with neutral or positive attitudes).
Leaders with negative attitudes also feel it is harder for them to find good people (89% hard) compared to those with positive (75%) or neutral (63%) attitudes to their jobs. The challenge of finding the right people appears to wear leaders down.
And those Leaders feeling it is hard to find good people are reporting higher levels of staff turnover (13.4%) than those who find it easier (8.9%).
Likewise, Leaders with negative attitudes to their jobs believe it is less easy to retain good people (54%) compared to those with Leaders with positive (60%) or neutral (60%) attitudes - clearly the pressure of talent management is felt at both ends of the scale.
And those Leaders feeling it is hard to retain good people are reporting higher levels of staff turnover (16.8%) than those who find it easier (9.3%) - they've got a double-whammy of pressure coming from the difficulties of finding and retaining staff expressed in the form of higher staff turnover.
Managers - more detail
Managers with negative attitudes to their jobs are working the same number of hours as those with neutral or positive views (around 49 hours a week), but they don't feel they have the right balance between work and other aspects of their lives (52% compared to 58% for those with positive attitudes).
Managers with negative attitudes also feel it is harder for them to find good people (82% hard) compared to those with positive (75%) or neutral (73%) attitudes to their jobs. The challenge of finding the right people appears to wear Managers down.
Likewise, Managers with negative attitudes to their jobs believe it is harder to retain good people (56%) compared to those with Managers with positive (41%) or neutral (50%) attitudes.
Managers feeling it is hard to retain good people are reporting higher levels of staff turnover (19.4%) than those who find it easier (12.8%).
Employees - more detail
Work hours, hours paid for and work-life balance are no different in the eyes of employees with positive, neutral or negative attitudes.
Job seeking activity is no different than the November survey for different attitude groups - 51% considered, 21% actively looked, 13% applied for, 2% taken up a new job in another organisation.
Employees with negative attitudes to their job more likely to cite better salary/pay as a reason for looking elsewhere (56%) compared to those with positive (50%) or neutral (5%) attitudes to their jobs. They are less likely to be looking on the basis of better opportunities for career growth and development (28% compared to 37% for those with positive attitude).
Employees with negative views of their jobs are little less likely to be in organisations offering training and development opportunities (87% compared to 91% for those with a positive or neutral attitude) and they are a little less satisfied with their access to training and development (64% compared to 68% for those with positive attitudes) and the quality of that training and development (65% compared to 69% for those with positive attitudes).
Compare Credit Cards - Independent interest rate and fees comparisons for New Zealand banks.