8 in 10 workers feel trapped in their job: Survey

Managers should offer development opportunities
|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 07/24/2013

While it is no secret job satisfaction may be low among North American workers, it appears that most also feel stuck in their current position, according to a survey by Right Management.

More than eight in 10 (84 per cent) workers concede that they sometimes feel trapped in their job and want to find a new position elsewhere, found the poll of nearly 400 employees in the United States and Canada. Just 16 per cent disagreed.

“We view job satisfaction and wanting to get another job as a workplace indicator of sorts, particularly around engagement of employees,” said Timothy Mooney, talent management practice leader for Canada at Right Management. “What we learned this time is consistent with the past few years, and it’s disheartening that the mood in the workplace is still sullen.”

When employees are so disaffected management’s job is much more difficult, said Mooney.

“Workers are distracted and this harms performance, engagement, productivity and even recruitment and retention. So it would be a mistake for management to do nothing, or to conclude their workers have no choices but to stay where they are.”

There are steps management may take to mitigate a bad situation, said Mooney, such as encouraging employees to take charge of their own development.

“They may feel trapped, but it doesn’t mean they can’t grow, so management should provide development opportunities and ways to broaden their capabilities. When they see the employer will invest in learning and training and that they can progress in their present job it may lessen their sense of being stuck,” he said. “It always helps for a boss to talk about and to do something about career development.”

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