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Nearly a Quarter of Employers Rate Their Organization’s Employee Morale as Low, Finds New CareerBuilder Survey

CHICAGO, November 17, 2009 - Workers have navigated increased workloads, longer hours and strained resources during this recession. Some of these challenges have taken their toll on workplace morale. A new CareerBuilder survey of more than 2,900 employers reveals that nearly a quarter (23 percent) rate their organization’s current employee morale as low. Additionally, 40 percent of workers report that they have had difficulty staying motivated at work in the last year and a quarter (24 percent) do not feel loyal to their current employer. The survey was conducted between August 20 and September 9, 2009.

"Low morale levels are an unfortunate side effect of this recession," said Jason Ferrara, vice president of corporate marketing for CareerBuilder. "As a result, employers are taking measures to help address negative workplace sentiment and motivate their employees. Whether it’s through stepping up communication, offering more employee recognition programs or providing flexible work opportunities, organizations are doing what they can to proactively manage low morale."

Workers revealed a variety of factors that could be contributing to low morale levels. Two-in-five said that their stress level at work is high and nearly half (47 percent) said that their workload has increased in the last six months. One-in-five are dissatisfied with their work/life balance.

Nearly two-in-five workers (38 percent) said they felt there was departmental favoritism at work, which could also play a part in low morale levels. More than a quarter of (28 percent) workers don’t think their department is important to senior leadership.

Sales (15 percent), human resources (11 percent) and accounting/finance (6 percent) topped the list of departments workers believe are primarily given preferential treatment at work.

When asked what type of preferential treatment workers thought the favored department received, they said that they:

  • Tend to have higher salaries - 51percent

  • Receive more recognition by senior leaders - 47 percent

  • Have more flexibility in their work arrangements - 43 percent

  • Receive more funding/resources - 27 percent

  • Tend to have greater career advancement opportunities - 26 percent

  • Tend to have more training and leadership development opportunities - 19 percent

  • Are able to follow a more casual dress code - 15 percent

  • Are awarded with trips while other departments are not - 15 percent

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive© on behalf of among 2,924 hiring managers and human resource professionals (employed full-time; not self-employed; non-government; with at least significant involvement in hiring decisions); and among 4,285 U.S. workers (employed full-time; not self-employed; non-government); ages 18 and over between August 20 and September 9, 2009 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 2,924 and 4,285 one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 1.81 percentage points and +/-1.5 percentage points, respectively. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.

About CareerBuilder®
CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract their most important asset – their people. Its online career site,®, is the largest in the United States with more than 23 million unique visitors, 1 million jobs and 32 million resumes. CareerBuilder works with the world’s top employers, providing resources for everything from employment branding and data analysis to HR consulting. More than 9,000 websites, including 140 newspapers and broadband portals such as MSN and AOL, feature CareerBuilder’s proprietary job search technology on their career sites. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI), Tribune Company, The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit

CareerBuilder Media Contact
For all media inquiries and interview requests, contact:

Jennifer Grasz
(P) 773-527-1164