Survey of Executives Finds Morale and Trust Low

August 10, 2009 ( - The most recent Executive Quiz by The Korn/Ferry Institute reveals job dissatisfaction and a lack of trust for corporate leadership.

Nearly half (47%) of employed executives indicated they are either somewhat or very dissatisfied with their current position. According to a press release, when asked what best describes employee morale within their company, 45% of employed executives said either “fair” or “poor,” while 42% said “good,” and only 13% said “outstanding.”

The survey also found 31% of executives stated they do not trust their boss. However, three-quarters gave their bosses favorable performance ratings: excellent (19%), above average (35%) or average (22%).

More than one-third (36%) of executives reported they do not trust their CEO. When asked if their current CEO is the best person for the job, only 38% said “absolutely,” while 34% responded “somewhat” and 28% said “not at all.”

More than half (56%) of executives indicated they aspire to be CEO, 16% said “maybe,” 12% said “no,” and 15% already are or have been a CEO. The majority of executives said they aspire to have their boss’s position (67%), while the other 33% do not.

“The global recession has left fewer employees to do more work, often for less pay. Stress levels are high and some executives are getting burnt out. However, irrespective of the business cyclicality, companies must take proactive steps to keep key employees engaged if they want to retain them for the long term and be seen as an employer of choice,” said Ana Dutra, president and CEO of Korn/Ferry Leadership and Talent Consulting, in the press release.

The Korn/Ferry International Executive Quiz is based on a global survey of executives registered within the firm’s online Executive Center, Respondents from 70 countries, representing a wide spectrum of industries and functional areas, participated in the most recent Executive Quiz in May-June 2009.