Middle Managers Less Loyal
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Middle Managers Less Loyal

Middle managers in the United States are increasingly dissatisfied with their current organizations, believe those organizations are mismanaged, and see few prospects for advancement, according to the findings of a survey.

Paul Holmes

Middle managers in the United States are increasingly dissatisfied with their current organizations, believe those organizations are mismanaged, and see few prospects for advancement, according to the findings of a survey released by management consulting giant Accenture.

Respondents’ satisfaction with their current organizations has declined significantly since 2004, when Accenture conducted a similar survey. While two-thirds (67 percent) of middle managers in last year’s survey reported that they were extremely or very satisfied with their organizations, fewer than half (48 percent) of respondents in this year’s survey were as positive about their organizations, with one-third (33 percent) of respondents describing their organizations as “mismanaged.”

Only 28 percent rated the way their organizations manage prospects for advancement as good or excellent, and only 31 percent said their companies were good or excellent at helping them communicate bad news. In fact, only about one-third of respondents reported that their companies were good or excellent at managing compensation, flexible work arrangements, communications between supervisors and subordinates, and training and development (33 percent, 34 percent, 37 percent and 37 percent, respectively).

”The decline of employee loyalty, particularly at the critical middle manager level, should be a growing source of concern for senior management, and the fact that middle managers think their companies are mismanaged is particularly alarming,” says Ed Jensen, a senior executive in Accenture’s human performance practice. “These managers are frustrated about a broad set of concerns and see only a limited future at their current organizations. When the negatives about a company trump the positives, the balance between deciding to stay or leave will tip in the wrong direction.”

When asked about the most frustrating aspects of their jobs, the greatest number of respondents—47 percent—cited compensation issues, followed by balancing work and personal time, the feeling that they do the bulk of the work and don’t receive the appropriate credit, and having no clear career path (chosen by 40 percent, 38 percent and 35 percent, respectively).

Nearly six in 10 (58 percent) of the respondents said they would consider changing jobs and three in 10 (30 percent) said they are currently looking for another job.

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