The Journal Gazette
Sunday, September 02, 2018 1:00 am

Survey finds US workers crave appreciation

LISA GREEN | The Journal Gazette

I would call this a mailbag column, but most of what I'm going to share came through my inbox.

As we prepare to celebrate Labor Day tomorrow, what follows are highlights from various workplace-related emails this summer.

Happy campers?

If you think you have people on staff who aren't happy, you are likely right.

Thirty-eight percent of Americans aren't happy at work, 56 percent of those surveyed saying they are under-appreciated or under-valued, and 17 percent saying they don't receive enough support from their managers.

Those stats were in an Aug. 1 email from 15Five, a software maker that focuses on performance management, based on a survey of 1,000 Americans.

Managers should celebrate every win – big or small, make recognition visible to the whole company and make sure to keep remote workers involved. Twenty-seven percent say more appreciation would increase their motivation, according to the 15Five email.

The Conference Board last week released results of its latest survey on job satisfaction. It found 51 percent of U.S. employees “feel overall satisfied with their job.”

The results also show that, over the last seven years, employee attitudes about wages and job security experienced the biggest improvements. But workers feel “quite disappointed” with their job's professional development aspects. That's a warning signal, the news release said, for organizations looking to attract and retain talent in today's tight labor market.

The Conference Board survey of about 1,500 employed individuals addressed 23 components tied to job satisfaction. Participants gave the lowest marks to workload, educational and job training programs, the performance review process, bonus plans and promotion policies.

Survey components receiving high marks included the people at work, interest in work, supervisor and physical environment.

Job satisfaction is improving faster for lower-income households, partly due to conditions improving due to the tightening labor market.

Hard workers

WalletHub, a personal finance website, last week released a report on the hardest-working states in America, showing Alaska at the top. It was followed by North Dakota, Wyoming, South Dakota and Nebraska.

Indiana ranked 24th overall. Factoring in direct work factors such as average workweek hours and share of households where no adults work, the state ranked 21st. When considering indirect work factors including average commute time and share of workers with multiple jobs, Indiana ranked 37th.

Overall, WalletHub said Americans worked an average of almost 1,800 hours per year and 52 percent weren't using all their available vacation time.

Side hustles

Thirty-seven percent of Americans have a “side hustle,” according to a report in June. The most popular side jobs are home repair/landscaping, online sales, crafts and child care.

Fifty-nine percent of those who earn money on the side primarily do it for more disposable income; 38 percent say it's so they can meet regular living expenses.

The median side hustler, according to the news release, earns $200 per month, and the average is $686.

“Many surveys suggest that Americans are making poor financial decisions, so the fact that many people have a side hustle is refreshing,” Amanda Dixon, a analyst said in the release. “Having more than one source of income is a smart move and having a side gig is a great way to boost your savings and meet other financial goals.”

To share a thought, a favorite quote or other wisdom about leadership, email Lisa Green at Lead On also appears online as a blog at

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