A study conducted by Wayne Hochwarter, Dr. Jim Moran, and Allison Batterton of Florida State University has found that most employees are not clear on their responsibilities at work. Less than 20 percent of survey respondents reported feeling confident in their workplace expectations. The remainder of the respondent pool ranged from a completed misunderstanding to mild uncertainty.
Respondents with a lack of awareness of their responsibilities were also found to have 60 percent higher levels of mistrust of communications from leadership and 50 percent higher levels of work frustration. These respondents expressed a feeling of 45 percent less control over the completion of their work and reported 40 percent higher work overload. Even more, unaware workers reported 35 percent fewer work-related accomplishments, were 33 percent less social, 33 percent more likely to look for new employment, and 25 percent more likely to neglect their jobs.
“When employees aren’t sure what’s expected of them, the results simply just cannot be positive, especially when the complexity of work and the pace of change is taken into consideration,” Batterton says.
Hochwarter noted, “It seems the more that communication is needed, the less likely it is provided — no wonder so many employees feel completely lost at work these days.”
He continued, “Most employees want to do a good job and contribute to their organization. Perhaps it’s overly simplistic, but this can only take place when employees know what’s expected. Sadly, many do not, and the situation appears to be getting worse rather than better.”