Office politics and other factors have hindered performance in some workplaces

nik-macmillan-YXemfQiPR_E-unsplashOnly 29 percent of employees say they’re very engaged and excited to go to work every day, according to the results from a new global survey in which more than two-thirds of the respondents have been in the workforce for six years or less.

Forty percent of young professionals report they’re quite engaged at work — but say they’ve also experienced periods of disengagement.

Several work culture challenges were found to potentially affect employee performance. Specifically, internal politics (27 percent), unclear/changing job roles (22 percent) and a lack of collaboration (18 percent) were the top barriers to productivity in the workplace.

Eleven percent of young professionals said too many meetings were an issue. Dealing with a difficult boss was one of the barriers to effective work performance that 17 percent of employees experienced.

The responses varied somewhat, depending on the region. In the U.S., for instance, 40 percent of the survey participants named office politics as the top employee performance barrier. Thirty percent of respondents in Southeast Asia said dealing with a difficult boss was their biggest performance barrier.

Despite the challenges some workers have encountered, many expressed a willingness to learn new knowledge and skills — most notably technical skills (23 percent), strategic thinking (22 percent), negotiation techniques (22 percent) and networking skills (21 percent).

Online articles and blogs; videos; and books, periodicals, journals and published research papers were the top three main sources of knowledge employees relied on to enhance their skills.

To find out more about young professionals’ experiences and opinions, view the full report from Harvard Business Review Ascend.



young professionals

employee performance

office politics

dealing with a difficult boss

willingness to learn new knowledge and skills

main sources of knowledge

barriers to effective work performance

barriers to productivity in the workplace


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Some young professionals have had disengagement issues and experienced performance-altering culture concerns; yet a number hope to learn new skills.