October 21, 2017 
Workplace Change Project

Institute of Behavioral ScienceUniversity of Colorado - Boulder | University of Puget Sound


Executive Summary

Changes in Employee Attitudes and Reported Behavior
Across Three Survey Waves, 1997-2003
October, 2003

(Name of company being withheld as per agreement)

Sense of Commitment and Attachment to the Company

  Organizational Commitment Intent to Quit (Range 3-15) Absences (Days) Job Involvement (Range 8-39)
Feb 1997 10.1 6.6 1.8 23.1
Nov 1999 8.9 7.7 2.1 21.9
March 2003 8.5 7.9 3.7 21.8

Overall company trends: Modest but steady secular decline in organizational commitment and increase in absences and intention to quit.

Differences by paycode in 2003: Managers score significantly higher in organizational commitment, and have fewer absences and the lowest intention to quit scores. Production and maintenance workers have the highest rates of absence.

Trust in Management and Support from the Organization

  Trust in Management Competence (Range 5-25) Trust in Management Integrity (Range 4-20) Support from the Organization (Range 4-20)
Feb 1997 13.7 10.5 10.5
Nov 1999 11.7 9.1 9.5
March 2003 12.1 10.3 9.3

Overall company trends: Trust in management integrity and competence is relatively stable across all three surveys despite recent company financial troubles and extensive downsizing. Perceived support from the company has declined ever so slightly.

Differences by paycode in 2003: Production and maintenance workers score significantly lower than other paycodes on scores of trust in management integrity and competence, and report the lowest score on perceived support from the organization. Managers score significantly higher than other paycodes on all three measures.

Job Satisfaction, Job Security, and Job Challenge

  Overall Job Satisfaction (Range 3-15) Job Security (Range 3-12) Job Challenge (Range 3-15)
Feb 1997 11.4 8.8 10.4
Nov 1999 10.5 7.7 10.1
March 2003 10.3 6.3 9.9

Overall company trends: secular decline in sense of job security; a modest decline in overall job satisfaction.

Differences by paycode in 2003: production an maintenance employees score lower than others on job satisfaction and sense of job security. Managers score highest of all paycodes in job challenge.

Work Related Stressors

  Job Stress (Range 0-18) Work Overload (Range 3-15) Work to Family Conflict (Range 2-8)
Feb 1997 10.7 9.5 4.8
Nov 1999 9.8 9.0 4.3
March 2003 10.5 9.2 4.5

Overall company trends: no secular trends are discernible.

Differences by paycode in 2003: managers score the highest and engineers score the lowest on job stress. Managers report the highest level of work overload, while production and maintenance workers feel the least overloaded.

Health and Well-Being

  Physical Symptoms of Poor Health (Range 0-6) Change in Smoking, Eating or Drinking Behaviors (Range 0-3) Drinking Problems (Range 0-4) Depression (Range 0-49)
Feb 1997 1.8 .55 .45 7.3
Nov 1999 1.9 .52 .46 7.8
March 2003 2.1 .88 .35 8.2

Overall company trends: very modest trends toward higher depression and a more significant trend of increasing negative health behaviors. Reported drinking problems have declined, however.

Differences by paycode in 2003: salaried exempt employees score higher than other paycodes on reported drinking problems. Production and maintenance workers score the highest on depression and engineers the lowest. Salaried non-exempt employees report the lowest score on negative changes in smoking, eating, or drinking.

Layoff Experiences

Virtually the entire sample had some contact with layoffs between 2000 and 2003. Fully 10.1% had been laid off, then rehired. An additional 1.4% had received warn notices (for a total of 11.5% warns because all laid off workers first received a warn notice). The number of employees reporting close co-workers being laid off rose from 22% in 2000, to 62% in 2002, and 63% in 2003; reports of close friends in the company losing their jobs rose from 10.2% in 2000 to 39.4% in 2003. And, 13.6% of company employees report being bumped from a position during the layoff process and its aftermath.

On the whole, respondents believed that the company handled the layoff process fairly (77%, a bit more than in the first two survey waves), and treated those who were let go well or very well ( 65%, about the same as in the first two survey waves). Nevertheless, layoffs had bad effects: fully 62% reported that layoffs caused tensions among coworkers, while 77.5% reported that the layoff and bumping processes made them lose contact with friends and coworkers in the company; 71.2% reported that these processes disrupted their relationships with close co-workers and friends in the company.

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