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Trapped Like Rats: Surveyed Workers Feel Trapped in Jobs

Trapped Like Rats: Surveyed Workers Feel Trapped in Jobs

Some 84 percent of workers say they want to find a new job.

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, the talent and career management experts within ManpowerGroup.

Nearly 400 employees throughout the United States and Canada took part in the new survey, and 84 percent concede that they sometimes feel trapped in their job and want to find a new position elsewhere.

When asked if they agree with this statement, “Sometimes I feel trapped in my current job and want to find a new position elsewhere,” 63 percent of the workers conceded they “strongly agree” and 21 percent said they “somewhat agree.” Only 10 percent strongly disagreed.

“We view job satisfaction and wanting to get another job as a workplace indicator of sorts, particularly around engagement of employees,” said Ron Sims, talent management practice leader at Right Management, which provides talent, career and outplacement services to Fortune 500 companies. “We poll employees regularly in order to assess a variety of attitudes and trends. 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 Sims. “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.”

For instance, Sims said, there are steps management may take to mitigate a bad situation. “Encourage 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. It always helps for a boss to talk about and to do something about career development.”

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