Safety Scratch Offs

starperk safety scratchoff

Easy-to-implement program where you distribute scratch off cards worth points toward trips and prizes. Learn More

 

Online Points Program

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Customize your own points program and give employees the ability to redeem points online. Add it as an overlay to any BBS or safety program.

Overworked employees are fed up: a survey finds 8 out of 10 Americans want a new job.

Overworked employees are fed up: a survey finds 8 out of 10 Americans want a new job.

November 11, 2003: 4:12 PM EST
By Leslie Haggin Geary, CNN/Money Staff Writer

New York (CNN/Money)

Ready to quit? You have plenty of company.

Many employees are overworked, stressed out, fed up -- and eager to quit their jobs once the economy picks up. In fact, worker angst is so pronounced it has surprised even the most tuned-in human resource professionals. They say employee anger is now almost palpable.

More than eight in 10 workers plan to look for a new job when the economy heats up, according to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Professionals. While there's a difference between looking for a new gig and actually jumping ship, that kind of number is "very, very high," says SHRP spokesman Frank Scanlon.

How did things get so bad?

To be sure, the economy hasn't helped. Cash-strapped employers have been cutting back on benefits like health care, paid vacations and retirement benefits.

Belt tightening is one thing; greed is another. In an era of Enron, mutual fund scandals and ludicrous CEO pay packages, employees know the difference, says Jeff Taylor, founder and CEO of monster.com.

"Companies behaving badly" have been all too common during the downturn, according to Taylor.

Job Stress:
By the Numbers
83% of workers plan to look for a new gig when the economy heats up.
35% of "top performing" corporate employees are at "high risk" of leaving their jobs.
60% of workers feel pressure to work too much
83% of employees want more time with their families.
56% of workers are either somewhat or completely disatisfied with their jobs.
Sources: Society for Human Resource Professionals, Sibson Consulting, Gallup Poll, monster.com

"You have the greed of executive management and great inequities from your lowest-paid worker to your highest-paid worker," he says. "Companies are not giving out raises. Benefits have been cut. That's an environment where the employers calls the shots."

The threat of pink slips has prompted plenty of people to work scared and give everything to their jobs. So-called overtime isn't that uncommon anymore. Nearly 40 percent of workers spend at least 50 hours on the job per week.

"Employees have hunkered down through the downturn," said the SHRP's Scanlon. Now that things may be looking up, "they're going to start looking aggressively."

How bad it has gotten...

  • 83% of all employees plan to head for a new job when the economy improves...

  • 35% of 'top performing' employees say they will leave when they can.

  • 60% of employees feel too much pressure to work

  • 83% want more time with families

  • 56% are dissatisfied with their jobs

Heading for the door

Take the case of David Garrison, 40, a facilities manager who worked for an oil company for 20 years before quitting to work at a local credit union.

Pulling 60-hour weeks was normal for the Los Angeles father of two. That's because he was expected to do much of the work of five other peers who had been fired. The message: Don't complain or you'll lose your job, too. So Garrison kept his mouth shut.

By the time he did quit a little over a year ago, Garrison had to swallow anti-anxiety prescriptions to get through the day. When he did care for himself -- and took a second sick day within a sixth-month period -- he was called in for a "counseling" session by his employer, who warned him not to take too much time away.

"It was infuriating," he recalls.

Infuriating but not uncommon, judging by the e-mail postings on Web sites - such as ihatemyjob.com -- that have flourished in recent years as a way for workers to vent.

Other movements - such as the Center for a New American Dream's effort to simplify lives and the Work To Live Web site, which exhorts workers to lobby lawmakers for change – are gaining momentum.

"I get flooded with e-mails from people, and you get a sense of the desperation," says Work to Live's Joe Robinson. "People have been traumatized by the last 15 years of downsizing and the last few years of recession. Everyone's afraid they'll be next."

The high cost of desperation

"In the last 15 years I've had a total of four weeks of vacation," writes one woman on the Work to Live site. "We receive no paid vacation, no paid holidays and no paid sick leave. . . .I used to have three people in my office doing what I do. Now there is just me. . . . I can't keep going like this."

There may be a glimmer of hope, for some. The most recent job report from the Labor Department shows that employers are finally adding to their payrolls. Human resource managers are bracing for a stampede.

Gerald Ledford, senior vice president at Sibson Consulting, notes that if 16 percent of workers do leave their jobs - as his firm predicts - that will match the high turnover rates of the late 1990's, when employees hopscotched from job to job.

"It's a very expensive problem," says Ledford.

For example, a national clothing chain must sell 3,000 pairs of $35 khakis to cover the price of replacing a salesperson who quits, including recruiting, training and lost productivity.

The tab to replace a typical white-collar middle manager runs about $100,000.

"We're a few good breaths away from being back at a lower unemployment rate," says Monster's Jeff Taylor. "Companies can limit their exposure by saying 'thank you' and recognizing the good work people have done for them.

"But I think generally this is where companies have a pretty big miss in this area.

 


Is Your Boss a Bully?

Five tips on how to cope with a superior who may not have anyone's best interests in mind.

November 11, 2003: 10:53 AM EST By Gerri Willis, CNNfn
NEW YORK (CNNfn)

 

Abusive bosses, bullies with big job titles, make everyone else's lives miserable. Online polling shows that the problem is widespread and that an abusive boss is more likely to be a woman than a man.

 

According to the Workplace Bullying and Trauma Institute, bullying by women toward women represents 50 percent of all workplace abusiveness. Bullying by men toward women represent 30 percent. Men bullying men is an even rarer situation, at 12 percent.

So what should you know if you think you might be a victim of an abusive boss? Here are today's five tips.

Tip 1: Identify the abusive boss

There are at least four types of abusive bosses, according to the Workplace Bullying & Trauma Institute:

The constant critic who uses put downs, insults, name-calling, and makes aggressive eye contact.

The two-headed snake who pretends to be nice while sabotaging you.

The gatekeeper is also known as the control freak, while the Screaming Mimi is emotionally out of control and explosive.

A March 2003 poll conducted by the consumer research company Maritz showed that 23 percent of American employees would fire their boss if they could.

Tip 2: Know when it's too much

Invariably, any boss is going to exhibit behavior at some point that might be considered abusive. The problem comes when it happens all the time.

It's over the line when it affects your health, if you chronically suffer high blood pressure that started only when you began working for the boss, if you feel nauseous the night before the start of the work week, or if all your paid off-time is used for mental health breaks.

Tip 3: Look at the flip side

Abusive bosses benefit from such behavior because they deliver exactly what their own bosses want. To get a handle on their behavior, consult with people in the office to find out how they respond to people who whistleblow or call them on their offensive behavior.

Some bullies back off if you call them on their actions.

Tip 4: Don't be a wallflower

A bully in the corner office isn't much different than a bully on the playground. Don't present yourself as a victim when dealing with a difficult boss by either apologizing or confessing all the time.

Abusive bosses smell blood. Being humble invites assaults.

Tip 5: Bullying is not illegal

Clearly your boss doesn't have to be nice, kind, or fair. However, if you are suffering some sort of physical ailment or emotional trauma as a result of your boss' actions, then you can ask for reimbursement for medical expenses and days of work lost under Worker's Compensation.

Keep in mind that doing this may create a situation where your boss tries to get back at you. If that happens, this may make for a legal case.

If you can't get satisfaction from Human Resources, try your state's industrial commission, which is responsible for enforcing Worker's Comp rules.

You may not be the only one pursuing these actions; over the past five years more and more employees are filing complaints due to abusive bosses. To understand your rights, go to www.workplacefairness.org.

* Disclaimer