The Journal Gazette
Sunday, March 03, 2019 1:00 am

Workers feel unappreciated, survey reveals

LISA GREEN | The Journal Gazette

Employees need more direction and recognition.

Less than half feel their promotion and career path is clear and 44 percent don't feel they have sufficient opportunity for professional growth in their current job.

Only one third of workers received recognition the last time they went the extra mile at work and only about 26 percent feel highly valued. A greater number, 33 percent, feel undervalued.

Those findings are part of the 2019 Employee Engagement Report that software developer TINYpulse released last week. The company, based in Seattle, focuses on employee engagement and feedback.

Companies lacking the right culture are at risk of losing talent they may want to keep. Employee loyalty is declining. The Employee Engagement Report said 43 percent of workers would be willing to leave their companies for a 10 percent salary increase. The previous year, just 25 percent felt that way.

“The biggest driver of employee engagement boils down to one thing: culture,” TINYpulse said in the report, which includes data from more than 25,000 employees across 20 industries last year. The size of the organizations surveyed range from 10 to 10,000 employees at companies in Northern America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

Getting new hires off to a good start can have long-term benefits.

“Effective onboarding is a crucial part of the employee experience, and correlates to how employees feel about their companies overall,” the report said.

Tangible factors, such as benefits and compensation, have a much lower correlation to employee happiness.

“While employees expect to be paid fairly, happiness hinges on two key components: mental stimulation and emotional security,” the report said.

Other key findings include:

• The biggest “pain points” for employees include technical issues with software and other tools; poor communication from management/lack of training and information; disorganized and time-wasting systems and processes; misguided decisions from management/bad leadership; lack of flexibility/no opportunities to work from home and overworked/under resourced teams.

• 84 percent of employees feel challenged at work, even though one-third don't think they can reach their full potential. “This disconnect is likely due to a lack of tools and resources available to help workers perform at a high level,” the report said. Managers need to invest in learning opportunities and discover the materials employees need to achieve the maximum they are capable of.

• Only 9 percent of people think their average co-worker is very happy, while half of the survey respondents think their co-workers are only moderately happy and 39 percent actually think they are unhappy. But at least people generally like their co-workers and the value they bring an organization, with 81 percent of employees saying they believe they have the right people on their team.

• Relationships are considered the “crucial glue that hold companies together,” but only 27 percent of employees rate the organization's team-building efforts as very good. Thirty-eight percent rate them satisfactory and 35 percent rate the efforts as poor.

Providing support and encouragement is critical for success, although the report's authors acknowledge it takes time and energy to boost engagement. The payoff may be in less talent turnover.

“Making sure employees feel valued is one of the best ways to keep employees loyal and engaged with your company mission,” the report said.

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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