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management strategies which serve to stimulate conflict for long-term gain
rather than suppressing conflict or leaving it to simmer will develop.
HOW THE CHANGING WORKPLACE AFFECTS WORKERS
It may seem logical to think that, in a bad economy, workers would be
appreciative of having any job, however bad the working conditions, and
that just having a source of income would lead to high rates of productiv-
ity and job satisfaction. Instead, current information suggests just the
opposite.
The Conference Board Research Group ( Weaver, 2012 ) found that in
more than 22 years of studying the issue, “even Americans who are lucky
enough to have work in this economy are becoming more unhappy with
their jobs and that only 45 percent of Americans are satisfied with their
work” (p. 1), a 20% decrease since a similar study was made 4 years earlier
(p. 1). According to the Conference Board Group, workers have grown
increasingly unhappy because, fewer workers consider their jobs to be
interesting, incomes haven't kept up with the cost of living, and health
care costs have substantially reduced a worker's take home pay, when they
are lucky enough to even have decent health care coverage.
The Board concludes that “if the job satisfaction trend is not reversed,
it could stifle innovation and hurt America's competitiveness and produc-
tivity. And it could make unhappy older workers less inclined to take the
time to share their knowledge and skills with younger workers” (p. 1).
A Presidential report, “Work in America” ( Presidential Commission
on Work, 1973 ) found that unhappy workers suffer from physical and
emotional problems related to their jobs in far greater numbers than do
satisfied workers. Reported problems include depression, anxiety, head-
aches, backaches, ulcers, substance abuse, marital discord, violence, and
other physical and emotional problems related to increased levels of stress.
The
following data
come
from CareerBuilder.com surveys of
American workers ( Lorenz, 2009 ).
￿ American workers have the least amount of vacation time of any
modern, developed society.
￿ In 2007, 20% of workers said they would be checking in with office
while on vacation.
￿ More than half of workers say they work under a great deal of stress,
and 77% say they feel burned out on the job.
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