Middle managers around the world are malcontent, and feel stagnant in their positions, according to the results of an annual survey released Jan. 9 by Accenture, the New York-based global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company.
In surveying more than 1,400 middle managers in nine countries spanning North America, Europe and Asia, the study found that on average, just four out of 10 respondents said that they were "extremely" or "very" content in their current places of employment. A full 20 percent expressed unwavering dissatisfaction.
Nearly half of respondents (44 percent) chose insufficient compensation as the most aggravating aspect of their jobs. Nearly the same number (43 percent) felt they did all the work but other people got the credit.
More than one-third (35 percent) felt balancing work and personal time was nearly impossible due to the demands of their job, and the same number said they were frustrated because they had no clear career path.
Almost one-quarter (23 percent) of middle mangers said they were currently looking for jobs elsewhere, with one-quarter (25 percent) saying the primary motivation was better prospects for advancement, and 22 percent felt theyd have better work conditions at another job.
Only about one-third of respondents said that their companies were good or excellent at managing compensation, including benefits (30 percent), flexible work arrangements (34 percent) and prospects for advancement (35 percent).
"Senior managers have an untapped opportunity to engage their middle managers," Peter Cheese, managing director of Accentures Human Performance practice, said in a statement.
"Low levels of engagement in such a critical segment of the workforce will affect performance and achievement of strategic goals. As the pressure on key skills and talent increases with the pace of change and demographic influences, those companies that manage this population of workers best will create sustainable competitive advantage and be the high performers of the future."
Though 30 percent across all countries, the largest share of middle managers, used the word "mismanaged" to describe their organizations, variations in responses across countries led to the United States, Spain, Germany and Australia showing generally higher levels of satisfaction than those in other countries.