Tune into employee frustrations

by Iain Hopkins14 Oct 2011

A new book aimed at lifting the lid on employee frustrations, has revealed that poor management is usually to blame, not the workers.

In the new release,The Enemy of Engagement, 'employee frustration' is argued to be the cause of disengagement among even the most dedicated and hardworking employees.

According to the co-authored research by Mark Royal and Tom Agnew, both senior consultants at Hay Group, deep-seeded and long term employee frustrations arise from:

  • Poor communication about goals, performance: Nearly one-third of employees indicated their managers do not effectively communicate the goals and objectives for their teams.
  • Resource constraints: One-third of employees reported that they do not have the resources and information they need to do their jobs well. More than half of employees expressed concerns about inadequate staffing levels in their work areas.
  • Unclear authority:30% of employees indicated that they do not have enough authority to carry out their jobs effectively, and more than 40% feel that the potential for adverse consequences discourages them from taking actions or making decisions.

The research also found that these frustrations are held by 20% or more of the total workforce, leading to a major loss in performance, talent, and revenue.

"Frustrated employees really want to succeed in their role, but become aggravated by organizational barriers or a lack of resources," Royal commented, adding that it is the responsibility of managers to ask the right questions and address the issue promptly, or they risk losing top talent who genuinely care about the organisation.

"Frustration isn't an 'employee' issue; it is an organisational issue," Agnew said.  "Managers must listen for clues and serve as the voice for frustrated employees."

The research concluded that they key to minimizing frustrations of this nature, is to ensure engagement by enabling employees to work productively.

It was found that companies ranking in the top quartile on both engagement and enablement achieved revenue growth four and a half times greater than companies ranking high on engagement alone.

For further information about the book, click here.

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