Job-Hopping Declines Among U.S. Middle Managers, Accenture Survey Finds

NEW YORK; Oct. 19, 2004 – The number of middle managers looking for jobs has decreased since last year, according to the results of a survey released today by Accenture.

The survey of 217 middle managers found that one in five (21 percent) is currently looking for another job, while a similar survey last year found that 38 percent were open to a new position. In addition, two-thirds (67 percent) of respondents are extremely or very satisfied with working at their current organizations.

“Executives have recognized the inherent risks of having a workforce that lacks motivation and connection to the company’s goals and strategies,” said Ed Jensen, a partner in Accenture’s Human Performance practice. “In response, many companies have strengthened training and leadership development programs, enhanced management communications, and improved parental leave policies, spousal benefits and other work/life benefits. As we emerge from the tough economic environment of the last few years, efforts such as these are critical to making middle managers more content.”

The survey also found that, of those who are currently looking for another job, almost three-quarters (71 percent) said that they plan to intensify their job search when the economy improves and the job market strengthens, compared with 64 percent last year. In the current survey, almost half (49 percent) of respondents said they think the economy will strengthen in the next 12 months, versus 38 percent who said the same in last year’s survey.

Respondents who are looking for new jobs cited opportunities at other companies, rather than dissatisfaction with current jobs, as reasons to seek a new job. Better pay or benefits, cited by 52 percent, topped the list of opportunities, followed by better conditions or job prospects (14 percent) and better training and development opportunities (13 percent). Only 12 percent named a lack of prospects and advancement at their current job, and just 3 percent said they would leave because of their boss.

Middle managers also gave their companies high marks in a variety of areas. When asked to choose functions that their companies managed extremely or very well, two-thirds (67 percent) cited working conditions, 61 percent chose communications between supervisors and subordinates, and 61 percent chose benefits.

These managers were slightly less complimentary about the way their companies managed training and development, compensation and prospects for advancement, with 54 percent, 51 percent and 50 percent, respectively, saying the functions were managed extremely or very well. The area to which respondents gave the lowest rating was the management of flexible work arrangements, such as working from home, with only 37 percent saying it was managed extremely or very well.

“The good news is that fewer middle managers are actively seeking new jobs, but with one out of every five currently looking for new opportunities, there is still work to be done,” said Jensen. “Executives should continue to decrease their workforces’ vulnerability by identifying top performers and determining how to increase retention. We’ve found, for example, that human performance leaders encourage experimentation and innovation and give key employees the authority and ability to act on changes that might affect the business. Approaches such as these can help a company retain its key middle managers.”

The survey, part of an ICR/International Communications Research omnibus survey conducted in the United States by telephone in July 2004, entailed querying 217 full-time workers who consider themselves to be middle managers.

About Accenture
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. Committed to delivering innovation, Accenture collaborates with its clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. With deep industry and business process expertise, broad global resources and a proven track record, Accenture can mobilize the right people, skills and technologies to help clients improve their performance. With more than 100,000 people in 48 countries, the company generated net revenues of US$13.67 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2004. Its home page is


Jeff Fox

+1 (212) 614 4256

Laura Schneider

+1 (845) 362 5093