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Middle managers are discontent, study says

Middle managers around the world are dissatisfied and feel stagnant in their positions, according to an annual survey released Jan. 9 by Accenture, a global management consulting and outsourcing company.

In a survey of more than 1,400 middle managers in nine countries, only four out of 10 respondents said they were “extremely” or “very” content in their current places of employment.

A full 20 percent ex–pressed unwavering dissatisfaction. Nearly half of the respondents (44 percent) chose insufficient compensation as the most aggravating aspect of their jobs. About 43 percent said they felt they did all the work but other people got the credit.

More than one-third said balancing work and personal time was nearly impossible due to the demands of their job, and the same number said they felt they had no clear career path.

Almost one-quarter of middle managers said they were currently looking for jobs elsewhere, with 25 percent saying the primary motivation was better prospects for advancement, and 22 percent said they believed they’d have better working conditions at another job.

Workers battling information overload

To combat attention fatigue and information overload,

Burton Group on Jan. 8 introduced the concept of an Enterprise Attention Management system.

According to the report, in the current information economy, knowledge is everything but can also be stress-inducing, from

e-mail overload and instant message intrusion on screens to unpredictable interruptions from PDAs and cell phones. An abundance of communication venues can make it difficult to pick out the important parts from the noise.

In the report, Craig Roth, a Burton Group vice president and service director, encouraged IT architects to address information overload at the enterprise level through EAM, a method for improving the effectiveness of an enterprise’s information workers by providing tools and processes to help them gain control over the volume of communication they receive.

Google tops Fortune’s best-workplace list

Technology companies accounted for three of the top 10 great employers, and—surprise—Google was No. 1, in Fortune magazine’s annual list of the 100 best places to work, released Jan. 8.

Google “sets the standard for Silicon Valley” with its free meals, swimming spa, free on-site doctors and allowance of engineers to spend 20 percent of their time on independent projects, according to the report.

Genentech, a biotech company, came in second. With nearly 10,000 employees, 25 percent job growth in the last year and 537 workers who took six-week paid sabbaticals last year—a perk available for every six years of service—the company roundup even included this blurb from an employee: “Wild horses couldn’t drag me away.”

Data storage company Network Appliance came in sixth on Fortune’s annual list, climbing 21 spots from the previous year based on its benefits, which include widely used flexible schedules and enhanced benefits for parents.

—Compiled by Deborah Perelman