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It’s a contented group of professionals who filled out last week’s poll–the first of a two-part look at human resources issues. The question was What Burns Your Toast About Your Firm, and frankly the expectation was that the responses would reflect a lot of closet-carping. Surprisingly, of the more than 350 votes logged, 37% say Not a Thing Is Wrong. Too Much Bureaucracy came in a weak second, at 22%, and 18% claim their management has No Vision. No Teamwork was the gripe for 13% and No Support in the Clinches for a paltry 10%. We turned to Beth Hayden, Jones Lang LaSalle’s senior vice president of human resources for the Americas, to get her take on the contentment issue in this day of market upheaval. Here’s what she had to say:

“The nature of a survey like this is very intriguing. It’s elective and external, and generally people who elect to respond to an external survey are generally more positive about where they are, especially if they have good internal mechanisms to resolve their issues.

“For example, we maintain and encourage an open-door policy. So I would expect that anybody who is in an organization that does that would be generally happy and would reply that way.

“This industry has come a long way in the past five to seven years, and there’s much more acknowledgement that there is a war for talent–and particularly for top talent with experience in this industry. They’re highly selective, and in order to select the best and the brightest you’ve got to have a culture of collaboration and a focus on ethics.

“I’ve worked in various sizes of companies, and so I have some personal experience. Such initiatives are driven by leadership, and it doesn’t matter if it’s private or public, large or small. Any organization that has strength and a diversity of offerings, especially going into the economy we’re going into, encourages people. Those are the types of attributes of an organization–especially now–that drive engagement and drive people to want to be affiliated.”

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