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SPECIAL REPORT: Problem Managers Top List of Workplace Woes


by Mario Gravelle


Satisfaction with Performance Management is Mixed


The CERIC survey probed Canadian workers’ general satisfaction with their employer’s performance management practices (i.e., feedback on performance, performance criteria, goal-setting, etc.) More than six in 10 say they are somewhat (48%) or very (16%) satisfied with them, with the remainder of Canadians reporting they are somewhat (21%) or very (12%) dissatisfied with their organization’s performance management practices.
The Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC) has released findings of a survey conducted by Environics Research Group asking Canadians about their job satisfaction, their perceptions about their workplaces and performance management, and the tools and resources they turn to when looking for a job or building a career. This project is a follow-up to a benchmark initiative completed in 2007 that asked similar questions. This article is an excerpt from the 2011 survey report. For methodological information, please see below.


Satisfaction with organization performance management practices

Q.24 How satisfied are you with the performance management practices in your company or organization (i.e. feedback on performance, setting of goals, linking of goals to organizational goals, recognition and reward, etc.)? Subsample: Those who are employed full-time or part-time.

In general, satisfied and dissatisfied Canadians possess similar socio-demographic characteristics, though workers in Atlantic Canada (77%) and Quebec (75%) are more likely to be satisfied than those in other provinces. As well, Canadians with household incomes of $150,000 or more are significantly more likely (34%) to say they are very satisfied with their employer’s performance management practices, likely reflecting their stronger satisfaction with their remuneration and reward. Notably, similar proportions of visible minority and non-visible minority Canadians say they are satisfied with their organization’s performance management practices.

Reasons for Dissatisfaction

Why are Canadians dissatisfied with their employers’ performance management practices? When asked (unprompted, without response options offered), Canadians who are dissatisfied reported having issues with poor management and control (31%) and insufficient appreciation or recognition (26%). Others felt that their managers did not involve them in discussions or give appropriate feedback. Notably, few focused on compensation, suggesting that Canadians would be more likely to respond to managerial or organizational changes that promote good management practices and greater feedback on performance than monetary solutions.

Reasons why dissatisfied with organizational performance management

Q.25 Why? Subsample: Those who are employed full-time or part-time, and who are dissatisfied with the performance management practices of their company.



Findings from the Environics Research Group survey were released in January 2011. A total of 1,202 Canadians aged 18 years or older provided their input to the on-line survey conducted between November 3 and 11, 2010. Age, gender, and regional quotas were placed to ensure that this sample reflects the Canadian population. Data gathered can therefore be extrapolated to the full population with a reasonable degree of confidence, and permitting analysis by important subgroups. Furthermore, this sample size was chosen as it can provide meaningful and statistically reliable results for important segments of the population, whether this is by region, community size, household type or relevant demographic characteristics such as education level and family size.

Mario Gravelle joined The Counselling Foundation of Canada in early 2011 as Learning and Innovation Analyst. His responsibilities include instituting and overseeing knowledge capture and knowledge transfer activities about projects that the foundation supports. Gravelle is a doctoral candidate in history at York University (B.A. from Concordia University and M.A. from the University of Ottawa).

Read the full report, Online Survey on Public Perceptions about Career Development and the Workplace, on the CERIC website at



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