The Kenexa Research Institute Explores What Makes Employees Feel That the Glass Is Half Empty

When It Comes to Employee Confidence -- What Makes Employees "Unconfident?"

WAYNE, PA--(Marketwire - September 30, 2008) - The Kenexa Research Institute (KRI) explored what employees around the world think about their organizations and their management, products, markets, including the odds of employment survival in these uncertain times. Valuable insights can sometimes be gained by looking at those who respond most negatively about their workplaces and environments. Looking at the negative responses, the results from a group of more than 16,000 workers, from 12 countries, indicate that employees in Japan (23%) lack employee confidence the most, followed by those in Italy (17%) and the United Kingdom (16%).

Employee confidence has two contributing factors: organizational and personal confidence. Organizational confidence is defined as employees having confidence in their organization's future, believing their organizations are managed effectively, feeling that the products/services are of high quality and sought after, that the organization is competitive and that the industry in which the organization is operating is robust and healthy.

Personal confidence is defined as employees feeling there is a promising future for them at their organization, that they won't be laid off, feeling the organization is helping them develop the skills they need in the future, believing other organizations are hiring people with similar skills and experience, and feeling that if they left their current employer they could find a similar job utilizing their skills and paying at least similarly to their current position.

A significant number of employees feel that the future at their current employer is rather bleak for them personally (19%). In addition, these employees feel that their current employer is not helping them develop the skills they will need in the future (19%) and if they were to leave their current employer, their next job would not pay them at least similarly to what they currently earn (17%).

Jeffrey Saltzman, east coast practice leader for Kenexa, stated, "When you examine the employee confidence results through the lens of those who view the glass as half empty, an interesting story unfolds. A near perfect storm arises when you have employees who feel they are in a dead-end job, yet trapped due to an inability to keep current with necessary skills, compounded with the belief that they would take a financial hit should they switch jobs. It is no wonder, as these employees look around wondering how they got into their predicament, that the most negatively scored item on the study was the effectiveness of management (20%)."

This pattern, while it exits almost everywhere, is more pronounced in Japan, 34% of surveyed workers feel they do not have a promising future at their current employer, followed by those in the United Kingdom (24%) and Italy (22%).

Saltzman continued, "People with these feelings will be underutilized assets. An organization will be better positioned if they invested in skill development, which would bring some relief to these employees. Unhappy employees with highly developed skills can be attractive to the competition. By developing their skills, these employees will also become more attractive to their current employers and are more likely to get past feelings of being at a dead-end, in their career."

This study was part of a larger quarterly study that Kenexa undertakes to measure business conditions in major markets. Kenexa has an unequalled database of worldwide employee survey results from workers in Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States that allows the company to provide exceptional insights to organizations of all sizes on a global basis. This business-critical information enables international organizations to better maximize their overall performance.

About Kenexa

Kenexa (NASDAQ: KNXA) is a global leader in building the world's greatest workforces using a combination of software, employee research science and business process optimization. Kenexa's global solutions include applicant tracking, onboarding, recruitment process outsourcing, employment branding, skills and behavioral assessments, structured interviews, performance management, multi-rater feedback surveys, employee engagement surveys and HR Analytics. Kenexa is headquartered in Wayne, Pa. (outside Philadelphia). Additional information about Kenexa and its global products and services can be accessed at