Do you feel like you’re not getting the support at work that you need to do the best job you can?

A new report finds workers without supervisor support for career development are more likely to distrust their employer, and many plan on looking for a new job soon.

The American Psychological Association survey finds most employees who believe their supervisors don’t support and encourage their career development don’t think they’ll be able to develop the technical, leadership and management skills they will need in the future.

“A majority of U.S. workers feel reasonably good about their current job skills, but when you ask them about the future they’re not quite so optimistic,” said David Ballard, director of the APA’s Center for Organizational Excellence.

He said the report also finds for workers without adequate supervisor support, less than half say they feel motivated to do their best at work, about 40 percent feel satisfied with their job (compared to 86 percent of those with supervisor support), and only 16 percent say their company or organization makes them feel valued.

In addition, the report finds 56 percent of workers without supervisor support do not trust their employer, and more than half indicate they’ll look for another job in the coming year.

“It really is about having an environment where employees and the organization are working together and sharing the responsibility for preparing for the future and developing these skills,” he said.

“It’s not about being paternalistic, telling employees what to do and looking over their shoulder and managing them in a way that’s burdensome," Ballard says.

“It’s about providing opportunities that are a good fit for them and supporting them in those efforts so they can be successful in the future, and that in turn helps the organizations be successful.”

Michele Siekerka, the president of the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, said the constant state of change and disruption in the workplace does make people feel uneasy.

“Therefore having someone there to talk you through next steps and help you prepare for that disruption that’s there as an employee every day, that should not be overlooked.”

She said the connection between an employee and supervisor is extremely important.

“Frontline people in particular need to understand where the expectations are set and they need support to get to that next level.”

Siekerka added “what frontline employees are looking for is empowerment and making sure they have the tools in order to deliver the results that are expected from them.”

She said more often than not, companies in New Jersey are aware of the importance of having a supportive supervisor in place to provide a supportive work environment.

The “2017 Job Skills Training and Career Development Survey” from APA’s Center for Organizational Excellence was conducted online by Harris Poll last month.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at

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