New Study Reveals What U.S. Employees Really Think About Today's Workplace

Survey Findings Provide Guidance for Organizational Leaders to Drive Better Engagement, Productivity, Retention, and Performance

SYLVANIA, OH--(Marketwire - Mar 26, 2013) - Root Inc., the strategy execution consulting company, today announced the results of a survey conducted by Kelton titled "America's Workforce: A Revealing Account of What U.S. Employees Really Think About Today's Workplace." The study, which analyzed the responses of more than 1,000 U.S.-based employees, uncovers where employees would like to see change from the companies they work for and the leaders who manage them. Seven key themes surfaced in the survey including leadership competencies, manager/employee relationships, communication of strategy, change initiatives, teamwork and accountability, process improvements, and employee training.

"Many surveys tell us there's something wrong -- we know that American workers are unhappy or not engaged, and leaders know they need make adjustments to keep the very best talent," said Rich Berens, president of Root. "However, surveys rarely give leaders specific areas where they can and should make meaningful changes. With this research, we wanted to uncover the specifics of where employees really would like to see things be different and how management can take that data and make organizational changes for the better."

Added Berens, "Strategy execution is really, really hard. That's why so many organizations fail in change or transformation initiatives. Based on our experience, leaders and executives have the best of intentions, but fall short with the strategy execution piece because there are so many moving parts to the process and require long-term sustainment. The America's Workforce survey is designed to help them identify where they can focus their efforts and really drive change across their organizations."

Survey Findings
The America's Workforce study found:

  • Employee's Feel Discouraged: More than half (54%) of employees have felt frustrated about work.

  • Manager/Employee Relationships Need Improvement: Only 38% strongly agree that their manager has established an effective working relationship with them 

  • People Don't Understand Strategic Direction: 40% say they don't get the company's vision or have never seen it.

  • Innovation Is Being Stymied: Nearly 67% of American workers can name at least one thing that would prevent them from taking any kind of risk at work.

  • Big Picture Contributions Missing: Only 43% of workers say they feel accountable for the company's revenue, profit, or growth.

  • Not Leading by Example: Just 26% of workers strongly agree that managers embody the values they expect from their employees, only 39% say their manager understands his/her role at the company, and 40% strongly feel their managers understand their company's strategy or goals.

  • Collaboration Across Teams Is Tough: Just 27% strongly feel they can depend on outsiders to fulfill their duties when working with other groups.

  • Training Isn't Relevant: 26% report they don't have any training available to them right now, and the 62% that do have training available believe it is either somewhat or not at all applicable to their jobs. 

The study also revealed some positive news and opportunities for companies to capitalize on:

  • Finding the Bright Spots: 56% feel their company is better at identifying what works well instead of fixing processes that are not working.

  • Training Can Make a Difference: Workers with training available to them have recently felt committed (48% vs. 39%), happy (45% vs. 37%), and excited (30% vs. 14%) about work.

  • Glimmers of Hope: 43% of workers said they felt happy about work at some point in the last month.

"From connecting everyone in the organization to the strategy of the company, to creating the right culture that supports the behaviors and process that will achieve the strategy, to making training more relevant to the jobs that people have, there are clear, actionable approaches that leaders can take to transform their organizations," said Berens. "The America's Workforce study uncovers essential truths that each and every organizational leader should know. The good news is that while it's not easy to drive culture change or approach communication in a different way, it's all possible, and every incremental change will yield significant results."

Download the full results of the "America's Workforce: A Revealing Account of What U.S. Employees Really Think about Today's Workplace" study.

The online survey analyzed the responses of 1,061 U.S.-based full-time and part-time employees across a variety of industries, companies, and positions and was conducted by Kelton Group, a leading global insights firm.

About Root
Root is a strategy execution company that helps organizations engage their people as the catalyst and driver for change. Root does this by connecting people with complex strategies using creative and visual methods, transformative insights, and consulting know-how on strategy deployment and sustainment. With more than 20 years of capabilities developed from partnering with the world's largest businesses, Root has created a proven framework that consistently achieves clarity, ownership, and results. Based in Sylvania, Ohio, Root has been recognized as a Great Place to Work for eight consecutive years. Visit for more information or follow Root on Twitter: @therootinc.

Contact Information:

Monica Rohleder
Fred Marketing

Aleassa Schambers
Root Inc.