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February 12, 2003
Employee Confidence Dips
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loyee confidence fell last month, as employees expressed increasing concerns about the prospects for their company in the coming year, according to the Gallup/UBS Employee Outlook Index. The index declined six points to 60 in January from 66.

The index is a joint venture of The Gallup Organization and UBS, a financial services company. Established in April 2002, the index is now close to its August low of 58 and far below its initial baseline of 72.

All three dimensions of the Employee Outlook Index also declined. The Future Company Conditions Index dropped nine points from 70 in December to 61 in January. The Present Company Conditions Index declined seven points from 84 in December to 77 in January, while the Job Security Index dropped two points from 44 in December to 42 in January.

This month, employees were asked whether their company conducts periodic formal performance reviews. Notably, 80 percent of those surveyed say their company conducts performance evaluations. Among this group, 52 percent say they are reviewed annually, 27 percent report they receive a review every six months, and 13 percent say their performance is reviewed monthly or more frequently.

Nearly two out of three employees, 63 percent, say their supervisor or employer set specific performance goals for them and/or their team in 2002. Among those who say their employer did not set specific goals, 59 percent set specific performance goals for themselves and 41 percent did not. Only about half, 56 percent, of those employees with specific set performance goals say they "completely met" their goals last year. However, another 29 percent say they "came close to meeting" their goals, while just 14 percent say they "partially met" or were "unable to meet" their goals.

In addition, 58 percent of employees who had specific performance goals say they received a bonus or some other kind of special incentive compensation to reward them for their performance. Apart from monetary awards, 39 percent of employees say that they received some other type of recognition for their work, such as a letter of praise or a plaque. Twenty-nine percent say they received neither special compensation nor any other type of recognition while 26 percent say they got both a financial incentive and another type of recognition.

"Gallup's workplace research has shown that companies have a better chance of achieving their goals if they set clear individual targets, provide financial incentives for reaching those targets, and recognize employees who meet their targets,” Gallup Chief Economist Dr. Dennis Jacobe. “Non-monetary recognition is an inexpensive way to improve morale and stimulate productivity -- goals that become more important than ever in sluggish economic periods."

Results for the Gallup/UBS Employee Outlook Index are based on telephone interviews conducted January 13 - 16, 2003 and January 20 - 22, 2003 with a randomly selected national sample of 641 adults who are employed with non-governmental, for-profit companies having five or more employees, 18 years and older.


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