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Nearly Half of Employed Executives Are Dissatisfied With Their Jobs, According to Korn/Ferry Executive Quiz

August 10, 2009

Results Also Reveal Lack of Trust of Managers and CEOs

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The most recent Executive Quiz results released today by The Korn/Ferry Institute reveal that nearly half (47 percent) of employed executives are either somewhat or very dissatisfied with their current position. The lackluster job market has not only left executives unhappy with their jobs, but survey results also uncover a lack of trust for corporate leadership.

When asked what best describes employee morale within their company, 45 percent of employed executives said either "fair" or "poor," followed by 42 percent who said "good" and only 13 percent who said "outstanding."

According to Ana Dutra, president and CEO of Korn/Ferry Leadership and Talent Consulting, "Maintaining high employee morale is one of the most significant challenges facing organizations in today's economic environment, and a critical part of it is based on the understanding of what truly drives and motivates executives. Career motives can be very different from individual to individual: identifying high potentials and their career motives can make the difference between superior or just solid performance for any organization.

"The global recession has left fewer employees to do more work, often for less pay. Stress levels are high and some executives are getting burnt out. However, irrespective of the business cyclicality, companies must take proactive steps to keep key employees engaged if they want to retain them for the long term and be seen as an employer of choice."

The survey results suggest that low employee morale among executives may be linked to the lack of trust they feel toward company leaders. A surprising 31 percent of executives stated they do not trust their boss. Despite this, however, three-quarters gave them favorable performance ratings: excellent (19 percent), above average (35 percent) or average (22 percent). Even worse, 36 percent of executives reported they do not trust their CEO. In fact, when asked if their current CEO is the best person for the job, only 38 percent said "absolutely," while 34 percent responded "somewhat" and 28 percent said "not at all."

Finally, when executives were asked if they aspire to be CEOs, the majority (56 percent) said "yes," 16 percent said "maybe," 12 percent said "no" and 15 percent already are or have been a CEO. Aspirations also ran high for their boss's job. The majority of executives said they aspire to have their boss's position (67 percent) while the other 33 percent do not.


The Korn/Ferry International Executive Quiz is based on a global survey of executives registered within the firm's online Executive Center, Respondents from 70 countries, representing a wide spectrum of industries and functional areas, participated in the most recent Executive Quiz in May-June 2009.

About The Korn/Ferry Institute

The Korn/Ferry Institute was founded to serve as a premier global voice on a range of talent management and leadership issues. The Institute commissions, originates and publishes groundbreaking research utilizing Korn/Ferry's unparalleled expertise in executive recruitment and talent development combined with its preeminent behavioral research library. The Institute is dedicated to improving the state of global human capital for businesses of all sizes around the world.

About Korn/Ferry International

Korn/Ferry International, with a presence throughout the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, is a premier global provider of talent management solutions. Based in Los Angeles, the firm delivers an array of solutions that help clients to attract, develop, retain and sustain their talent. Visit for more information on the Korn/Ferry International family of companies, and for thought leadership, intellectual property and research.

SOURCE Korn/Ferry International
CONTACT: Asia Pacific: Shireen Nisha, +65 6231 6123,, or EMEA, Juerg-Herbert Baertschi, +44 20 7312 3178,, all of Korn/Ferry International, or Latin America, Lindsey Koh, +1-310-556-8532,, or North America, Kevin Oates, +1-310-584-8331,, for Korn/Ferry International
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