Knowledge workers Research

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Knowledge workers Research

Employee satisfaction is very essential in business performance. However, recent studies find that workers around the world are not satisfied with their work. Some of the reasons include dissatisfaction with leadership, performance review process and disengagement among other things. Below is a summary of key findings on employee dissatisfaction with leadership and performance reviews.

Workers Are Dissatisfied With Leadership

  • According to Gallup's "Re-Engineering Performance Management" research, "only 2 in 10 employees strongly agree that their performance is managed in a way that motivates them to do outstanding work."
  • According to a survey by Harvard Business Review, while 58% of people trust a stranger, only 42% trust their boss. These figures reveal potentially alarming work relationships between employees and their leaders.
  • In the United States, only 20% of workers strongly agree that they have had a conservation about achieving goals with their manager in the last six months.
  • According to a survey by Kelton Research, 80% of knowledge workers want to know more about the decisions made in their organizations. This points to a desire among these workers for more transparency by the leadership.
  • A survey of 7,000 knowledge workers in 17 countries finds that there is a gap between priorities of companies and those of workers, particularly on autonomy. Among knowledge workers, autonomy is the third highest priority although it only ranks 11th for companies.

Workers Are Dissatisfied With Performance Reviews

  • The Gallup's performance management research paper also finds that only 21% of workers have performance metrics that are within their control.
  • When asked about performance reviews, only 14% strongly agree that performance reviews inspire them to improve.
  • A report by PwC finds that only 12% of female millennials are very satisfied with the quality and frequency of the feedback they receive.
  • A global survey of 13,000 employees by Corporate Executive Board (CEB) finds that 66% of respondents think that performance review process interferes with their productivity while 65% say it is not relevant to their jobs.
  • The sentiment is also echoed by managers, 95% of whom are not satisfied with the performance management process at their organizations, according to CEB. The relevance of performance reviews is also questioned by HR professionals, 90% of whom do not believe these reviews provide accurate information.
  • The traditional way of reviewing performance is even more inaccurate for knowledge workers due to three challenges: 1) knowledge workers produce "assets" that are difficult to measure; 2) they typically do not have fixed work schedules, making measuring their productivity based on work hours inaccurate; and 3) collaborative work, which is common among knowledge workers, makes it difficult to measure individuals' performance.



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