This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

October 8, 2008

Corporate Blindness

According to the latest Economic Anxiety at the Workplace poll results just released by Elliot Masie, 85 percent of respondents have at least some economic anxiety in their workplace and 29 percent experience “severe or high anxiety” in their workplaces. Only 15 percent reported "low or no anxiety in the workplace".

The respondents were answering the question, "What is the level of economic anxiety in your workplace?" Interestingly, over 1,444 learning professionals worldwide responded to his poll in 72 hours. This poll is Masie's attempt to take the pulse of how workers and workplaces are reacting to the current economic crisis in the United States (and beyond).

Masie's poll asked one additional question: "What, if any, action(s) has your organization's leadership taken to respond to the economic anxiety in the workplace?" The responses to this question reflect that corporations are "out of touch" with the feelings of their employees.

The results were as follows: 21 percent said their organizations had provided "briefings by leadership on organization's economic health"; 13 percent said their organizations had provided "briefings by leadership on the economic crisis"; another 13 percent responded that managers had "conversations with employees on economic anxiety"; 7 percent provide "workshops/briefings on dealing with 401K management"; and a full 46 percent reported their organizations had taken "no actions as of today".

Elliott Masie heads The MASIE Center, a Saratoga Springs, New York think tank focused on how organizations can support learning and knowledge within the workforce.

Earlier this year, Gallup conducted a survey of Americans and reported that "the percentage of Americans saying they worry 'a great deal' about the economy has surged by more than 20 points over the past year", moving the issue from 6th on the list of 12 national issues measured in 2007 to a virtual tie for first today with healthcare. Healthcare issues are a concern for about 60 percent and the economy about 58 percent.

These results are certainly a wake-up call for employers to take action and take it quickly. This economic anxiety is surely going to take a toll on productivity and retention.

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