business news in context, analysis with attitude

A new Washington Post-Ipsos poll is out, looking at worker attitudes and finding that "about 8 in 10 workers are satisfied with their jobs, even as over 6 in 10 say work is stressful."

And, "While desire to work from home is a priority for some workers, pay, having a good boss or manager and other aspects of a job rank higher."

An excerpt from the story:

"What makes a job good? Most workers say that a variety of factors influence their experience: their pay, their boss, health and retirement benefits, amount of vacation, friendliness of co-workers, whether they’re helping people or society, options for remote work and opportunities for advancement. When asked to rank the most important factors in a job, 45 percent put pay in the top slot. Having a good boss comes in second, with 14 percent of workers ranking it as the most important.

"Many are even willing to sacrifice flexibility for higher pay, with 65 percent of remote-capable workers reporting that they’d prefer a job that pays more but requires regular time in the office to a job that pays less but lets them work remotely (35 percent). Among fully remote workers, 55 percent say they would accept a lower-paying job to stay remote, while 45 percent would take a higher-paying job that requires them to commute some days.

"When pay doesn’t match worker expectations, it leads to labor market churn: One in 3 workers say they’d switched roles since the pandemic began, and 44 percent of these workers made the move for better pay."

The Post goes on:  "When it comes to what matters beyond pay, Gen Z and younger millennials (ages 27 to 34) are more likely to say opportunities for promotion and advancement are important to them compared with older workers. Gen Z workers put less emphasis on health insurance, retirement benefits and vacation time.

"Fewer Gen Z workers prioritize the ability to work from home (29 percent say it is extremely or very important) — but that might have something to do with the fact that this age group is more likely to have jobs that can’t be done from home (67 percent), compared with 49 percent of workers ages 27 to 34.

Having a good boss or manager is ranked as being 'extremely' or 'very' important by 89 percent of workers."

KC's View:

Here's a passage I found to be disquieting:

About 6 in 10 workers (61 percent) say they work “enough to excel at their jobs and advance” in their careers, while a third (33 percent) report that they do their jobs well but don’t go beyond what they’re paid for. Just 4 percent of workers say they are working “just enough to keep their jobs.”

That's all workers, not just one demographic.  Though, to be fair, younger workers are less focused on excellence than their older peers.

This actually underlines the importance of a good or great boss.  When you work for someone who energizes you, inspires you, and makes you want to over-achieve, that means you feel invested in the company and your job.  That's because a good or great boss feels the same way.  I'd love to see the correlation between "mediocre bosses" and "bosses who just do their jobs." Bet it is pretty high.  You'd think more companies would put a premium of having better bosses up and down their org charts, knowing that this would result in a better, more invested workforce.

In a broader sense, though, I would argue that it is unsustainable for a company - or even a country - to be 40 percent populated by people who aren't worried about being excellent.

I actually did a FaceTime about this way back in August 2012: