Our Research

researchThe research at PetersonGillespie International is ongoing survey research. Since 2002 we have been conducting surveys with most of the companies we serve. We have data on each question we have ever asked.

The current summarized data comes from many different organizations. Individual respondents came from all levels of these organizations. The data is usually collected prior to our offering an Aligning People with Purpose workshop or a Smart Work session.

We report the results of our surveys by item number and by number of responses to each of the five possible responses to the statements on the Likert scales. The statements are basically true or false. However, in the expanded version we have placed the true and false on different ends of a 5 point scale.

Review the research and then ask yourself: How does my organization measure up? If you find that you are on par with most companies, engage us–we are the solution to elimination Fake Work.

A Summary of Our Commonly Quoted Research

Question or Statement

Response

1.  Are you satisfied with the results of your work at the end of most weeks?

87% of employees are not satisfied.

2.  Do you feel a strong sense of commitment to your company’s top priorities?

81% of employees do not feel a strong sense of commitment.

3.  Do you feel your workgroup goals are translated Into real work tasks?

68% of employees do not feel workgroup goals are translated into real work tasks.

4.  Do you feel you are held accountable for reaching your commitments on time?

Only 52% feel they are held accountable.

5.  Do you feel you have more creativity, resourcefulness, talent, and intelligence than your job requires?

54% of workers feel this is true.

6.  Do you feel the work you do accounts for anything in your company?

53% of workers feel their work doesn’t account for anything.

7.  Do you clearly understand your company’s most important goals?

56% of workers claim they don’t understand their company’s most important goals.

8.  Do you feel your company’s goals are translated into specific work tasks you can execute?

73% of workers don’t think their company’s goals are translated into specific work tasks they can execute.

9.  Do you make plans to support agreed-upon goals and tasks in your workgroup?

70% of workers do not plan regularly.

10.  I spend 100% of my time doing strategically based real work tasks.

71% of workers do not spend most of their time on strategically based work.

Smart Work Organizational Profile (True and False Responses)

Category 1:  Strategy

Item #

Statement

False Neither True

1

My organization’s strategies are stated in specific, measurable goals.

61%

7%

32%

4

I know the strategic goals of my organization.

56%

11%

33%

7

I can state the mission and vision of my organization.

67%

16%

17%

10

My organization’s mission and vision statements are clear and easy to understand.

68%

10%

22%

13

My workgroup has clear and effective strategic goals.

68%

8%

24%

16

All employees in my organization know the organization’s strategy.

70%

10%

20%

 

Category 2:  Alignment

Item #

Statement

False Neither

True 

2

My daily work is aligned with my organization’s mission, vision, strategies and goals.

77%

8%

15%

5

I feel that my real work tasks are directly related to my organization’s strategic goals.

72%

12%

16%

8

A proper percentage of my work time is spent on real work tasks that clearly support my organization’s strategic goals.

77%

11%

12%

11

My organization’s strategic goals are tied directly to the work I perform.

76%

10%

14%

14

I can describe how my work supports my organization’s strategies.

71%

8%

21%

17

I plan regularly to make certain I complete my real work tasks.

70%

12%

18%

19

My organization’s strategic goals are translated into real work tasks I can execute.

73%

12%

15%

 

Category 3:  Execution

Item #

Statement

False Neither True

3

My organization has a well-defined measurement system linked to its strategic goals.

82%

7%

11%

6

I feel a strong level of commitment to my organization’s top priorities.

81%

10%

9%

9*

I am satisfied with the results of my work at the end of most weeks.

87%

8%

5%

12

I have less creativity, resourcefulness, talent and intelligence than my job requires.

54%

24%

22%

15

I am held accountable for completing my real work tasks.

52%

23%

25%

18

I spend 100% of my time doing strategically based real work tasks.

72%

6%

22%

20

The work I do each day helps the organization a great deal.

53%

22%

25%

Smart Work Organizational Profile Expanded Version (Response to Each Scale Point)

Category 1:  Strategy

False

     

True

Item #

Statement

1 2 3 4 5

1

My organization’s strategies are stated in specific, measurable goals.

48%

13%

7%

11%

21%

4

I know the strategic goals of my organization.

44%

12%

11%

8%

25%

7

I can state the mission and vision of my organization.

51%

16%

16%

9%

8%

10

My organization’s mission and vision statements are clear and easy to understand.

53%

15%

10%

9%

13%

13

My workgroup has clear and effective strategic goals.

51%

17%

8%

10%

14%

16

All employees in my organization know the organization’s strategy.

54%

16%

10%

11%

9%

 

 

Category 2:  Alignment

False

 

 

 

True

Item #

Statement

1 2 3 4 5

2

My daily work is aligned with my organization’s mission, vision, strategies and goals.

51%

16%

8%

6%

9%

5

I feel that my real work tasks are directly related to my organization’s strategic goals.

60%

12%

12%

9%

7%

8

A proper percentage of my work time is spent on real work tasks that clearly support my organization’s strategic goals.

54%

23%

11%

7%

5%

11

My organization’s strategic goals are tied directly to the work I perform.

62%

14%

10%

8%

6%

14

I can describe how my work supports my organization’s strategies.

58%

13%

8%

10%

11%

17

I plan regularly to make certain I complete my real work tasks.

57%

13%

12%

10%

8%

19

My organization’s strategic goals are translated into real work tasks I can execute.

52%

21%

12%

8%

7%

 

 

Category 3:  Execution

False

 

 

 

True

Item #

Statement

1 2 3 4 5

3

My organization has a well-defined measurement system linked to its strategic goals.

61%

21%

7%

5%

6%

6

I feel a strong level of commitment to my organization’s top priorities.

60%

21%

10%

5%

4%

9

I am satisfied with the results of my work at the end of most weeks.

65%

22%

8%

2%

3%

12

I have less creativity, resourcefulness, talent and intelligence than my job requires.

36%

18%

24%

16%

6%

15

I am held accountable for completing my real work tasks.

41%

11%

23%

20%

5%

18

I spend 100% of my time doing strategically based real work tasks.

53%

19%

6%

18%

4%

20

The work I do each day helps the organization a great deal.

39%

14%

22%

13%

12%

Inferences

PetersonGillespie will continue to measure the Fake Work Phenomenon.  Currently, the following inferences can be made from PetersonGillespie research:

Strategy

Across the companies we have studied, the strategy and strategic goals are not well understood by a large percentage of employees.  There could be many reasons for this, but nearly 70% of the employees in these companies do not know or understand the strategy and strategic goals of their company.

Alignment

Many employees in these companies are not performing Real Work tasks that further the strategic goals of their companies.  These employees are not aligning their work with the strategy of their company.  Nearly 75% of employees are not aligning their work with strategy.  If an employee does not know the company strategy, it is difficult to align with it.

Execution

Execution increases in direct relationship to how well employees understand and know their company strategy and strategic goals and how well they align their work to the company goals.  Execution has to be low when 81% of employees do not feel a strong commitment to their company’s goals.

Summary

The most telling data regarding fake work is that 72% of the employees in these companies indicate that they are not spending much of their time on strategically based Real Work tasks.

The Calculation of Results

We report the results of our surveys by item number and by number of responses to each of the five possible responses to the statements on Likert Scales.  The statements are basically True or False.  However, we have placed the true and false on different ends of a 5 five point scale. 

We report the data in two ways:

1. Response to Each Scale Point -- The percentage of responses to each of the five points on the scale. 2.  True and False Responses -- The percentage of true or false responses.  This is done by assuming that the scale points of 1 and 2 are false, the scale point 3 is neither true nor false, and the scale points of 4 and 5 are true.  For example: 

1. Response to Each Scale Point

Category 3:  Execution

False

 

True

Item #

Statement

1 2 3 4 5

6

I feel a strong level of commitment to my organization’s top priorities.

60%

21%

10%

5%

4%

2. True and False Responses

 

Category 3:  Execution

     

Item #

Statement

False

Neither

True

6

I feel a strong level of commitment to my organization’s top priorities.

81%

10%

9%

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Endorsements

  • stephen-r-covey

    “’Synergy’ means the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.  This book introduces a superior, synergistic product on a subject of immense importance.”

    - Stephen R. Covey

  • hyrum-smith

    "Fake Work is a seriously instructive book that illuminates the pitfalls of work that lacks authenticity. Peterson and Nielson explore the depth and breadth of a subtle yet intriguing phenomenon that plagues contemporary work-life. No one can afford to be without this book since it probes an issue central to continued productivity and success.” 

    Hyrum Smith
    Co-Founder, FranklinCovey, CEO Galileo

  • jack-zenger

    “At a time when most management literature rehashes the same old stuff, it is refreshing to be exposed to some fresh ideas with enormous practical relevance. Better yet the authors propose actionable cures for this silent disease of fake work that most business don’t recognize they have.” 

    Jack Zenger
    CEO of Zenger Folkman,
    coauthor of the bestselling The Extraordinary Leader

  • ken-blanchard"Brent Peterson and Gaylan Nielson bring to light a rarely examined activity that occurs daily in many organizations: Fake Work. Fake work wastes a precious resource—the time and talent of valuable employees. The authors underscore the problem—and solution pathways—with real-life examples that are at times disturbingly familiar. Read this book and get real!” 

    - Ken Blanchard
    coauthor of The One Minute Manager® and Great Leaders Grow

  • stephen-covey“Brent Peterson and Gaylan Nielson have delivered! Their intriguing book, Fake Work, powerfully diagnoses why most organizations and people are overworked and yet are underperforming, being trapped in the ‘thick of thin things.’ This book is filled with illuminating insight while at the same time being immensely practical and useful. Above all, it will forever change how you and your organization look at work—and better yet how real work is identified and done, and the results that follow.”

    Stephen M. R. Covey
    author of twelve New York Times bestseller The Speed of Trust

  • elliott-masie

    "Buzzing blackberries, compulsive emailing and deadly powerpoints are indicators that your workforce may be busy doing Fake Work. Let's refocus our work on the goals and strategies that really matter. Peterson & Nielson provide a clear pathway to Real Work!" 

    Elliott Masie
    Chair, The Learning CONSORTIUM

  • craig-swenson

    “After just a few pages Fake Work forced me to begin asking myself hard questions about my organization—and about my own work. We all want to think our work is real, important, and makes a difference. The truth is that much of it isn’t and doesn’t. The damage fake work does to our organizations is incalculable. Leaders who care passionately about both performance and people should pay close attention to this important book.” 

    Craig Swenson
    President, Argosy University 

  • stephen-krempl

    “Fake Work provides a different view of how to get people impacting their organizational goals and results. Using many simple but painfully true and recognizable stories, the book unravels the numerous issues organizations face around having ‘extremely busy and hardworking’ employees who may not, in many cases, be impacting the bottom line. The good news is Peterson and Nielson layout deceptively simple but effective steps to resolve this."

    Stephen Krempl
    President, Krempl Communications International

  • charles-hobbs

    “Fake Work takes the reader on a comprehensive journey to the central core of what causes low productivity in companies and other organizations. With captivating narrative the authors help us see how universally debilitating the problem is and how it can be fixed. This remarkable book, backed by years of research, is a how to do it road map leading to peak performance.” 

    Dr. Charles R. Hobbs
    President, Unified Power, LLC, and creator of the internationally
    acclaimed “Time Power Seminar” for Achieving High Productivity.

  • norm-smallwood

    "When I look around any organization, everyone is very busy, working very hard and staying very late to get work done. When I look at results, somehow there is a mismatch between all the work that is being done and the results that are attained. The simplicity of the concepts and applications in Fake Work will help any organization move from fake work to real work, thereby having all of their resources aligned to achieving the same goals. If you are looking for something that is practical and not just hype, take the time to read and apply these concepts.”

    Darryl Wee
    Chief Commercial Officer, Nestronics Ltd., Singapore

The Best-Selling Book

Fake Work: Why People Are Working Harder Than Ever but Accomplishing Less, and How to Fix the Problem.

Fake Work is about work, specifically, how to do work that is effective and that leads individuals and organizations to achieve results. The book is about helping smart people do great things – to do work that is real and makes a difference.

Learn More