Workers Get Attack of Nerves in July

August 6, 2002 ( - With a continuing whirlwind of scandal swirling around the corporate world, it's no wonder employees are growing more fretful of their employer's and their own futures.

The Gallup/UBS Employee Outlook Index picked up that skittishness in July as the index suffered a 5%-drop to 61 from a month earlier. The index baseline was 71 on its April 2002 launch.

The skittishness over the past three months extended to the level of employee confidence in their firm’s “present company conditions.”  That figure has steadily declined, sinking 12 points to 77 in July from 89 in April. Moreover, confidence in their firm’s “future company conditions” fell 10 points from 74 in April to 64 last month.

Although 38% of those surveyed say their companies’ provide financial information at employee meetings, the Index suggests that many companies are using a variety of other methods to educate their employees about the company’s fiscal condition:

  • 18% receive their company’s financial information by mail
  • 16% receive information from their boss at work.

Quarterly Updates

One out of three employees say they receive corporate financial information monthly while 29% report that they receive quarterly fiscal updates and another 14% say they receive information annually.

Still, one out of five employees or 19%, says they never receive financial information about the company they work for. Importantly, eight out of 10 employees believe their company should provide them with financial information on a quarterly basis, at the least.

The shaky corporate confidence also extended to the executive suite where overall confidence in senior management declined in July.

But the news wasn’t all bad. This month, 83% of employees say that the people who run the company are honest and ethical – down from 87% in June – while only 48% of employees believe that most corporate executives are honest and ethical – down from 54% in June.