Survey Finds Plummeting Workplace Morale

September 1, 2005 ( - For the first time since an Atlanta-based staffing company began surveying US employers and employees on workplace trends, the level of employee morale dropped significantly in its 2005 poll.

A news release from Randstad said that 55% of employers reported “good to excellent” morale at their companies – down significantly from the 70% of employers who gave that response in the 2004 survey. Employers and employees both believe that high morale and low turnover are stimulated by strong employee programs and effective communications.

“The gap in communication and leadership at many organizations indicates there is still a fair amount of ground to be covered to achieve peace, harmony and operational excellence in the American workplace,” Randstad said in the announcement. “Employees are working hard and consider themselves committed to their jobs, yet they have reservations about their company’s goals and leadership. Many say they are loyal to the company but do not believe that loyalty is reciprocal. And, in an uncertain economy, many fear for their job’s security.”

Both groups find agreement when asked if they believe their organization can actually achieve operational excellence. While 75% of employees and a whopping 87% of employers agree operational excellence is an important goal, only 32% of employees and 44% of employers believe their own company has the ability to achieve that elusive goal.

Asked to pinpoint major barriers keeping their organization from achieving its business potential, employees and employers cited the “lack of strong leadership.” The employee group rates “poor communication from top management” a close second. Employers believe they are leading by example and holding employees accountable for their work, yet results from the employeesindicate otherwise; only 55% of employees say their managers set an example or practice accountability with 52% saying their employers promote an atmosphere of openness and trust.

Both groups agreed that two primary strategies support companies in their quest to be the best: improving customer service and reducing costs. However, from there, employers valued customer service over cost and employees ranked cost over service. “This gap highlights an opportunity for employers to team up with employees to integrate these two strategies to strengthen the company’s brand,” said Stef Witteveen, Chief Executive Officer of Randstad’s US operations, in the news release.

In its 2005 Employee Review, Randstad – in partnership with Harris Interactive – talked to more than 3,000 employers and employees around the country this summer.

A copy of the review is available at 770.303.6756 or .