Figuratively Speaking by John MacIntyre

Figuratively Speaking For July 27, 2008

Percentage of "high performers" -- measured based on their annual job performance appraisal scores -- who say they are actively looking for other jobs, according to a study conducted by Leadership IQ: 47

Percentage of "low performers" who say they are actively looking for other jobs: 18

Source: Leadership IQ.

Estimated number of debit card transactions in 2007, according to a report by Packaged Facts: 28 million

Estimated total debit card dollar volume in 2007: $1.4 trillion

Source: Packaged Facts.

Rank of the U.S. health care system as the most unpopular, according to surveys by Harris Interactive that asked an identical question to a cross-section of adults in 10 developed countries about their respective health care systems: 1

Ranks of The Netherlands, France, Canada, New Zealand and Australia on the list of the most popular systems: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Percentage of Americans who believe that the American system "has so much wrong with it that we need to completely rebuild it": 33

Source: Harris Interactive.

Percentage of new graduates who say they plan to begin looking for jobs and start their careers right away, according to a survey conducted by Capital One Financial Corp.: 51.5

Rank of a comprehensive benefits package (66 percent) -- including health care, 401(k), child care and domestic partnership benefits -- among the most cited factors influencing new graduates' searches for employment: 1

Ranks of starting salary (64 percent) and job location (60 percent): 2, 3

Source: Capital One Financial Corp. Contact Pam Girardo at (703) 720-2351, or e-mail

Percentage of U.S. workers who regularly attend after-work drinks with co-workers, according to a survey conducted by Harris Interactive for 21

Among those who attend, percentage who say they attend to hear the latest office gossip: 15

Percentage who say they go because they feel obligated: 13


Percentage of advertising and marketing executives who said a colleague has tried to make them look bad on the job, according to a poll by The Creative Group: 50

Percentage of professionals sabotaged by a co-worker who said it's best to confront the offender directly: 70

Source: The Creative Group.

Ranks of pens, pencils or rulers (66 percent), paper, post-its or file folders (57 percent), and calculators, staplers or tape dispensers (11 percent) on the list of supplies most often taken by workers, according to a Spherion Workplace Snapshot survey: 1, 2, 3

Percentage of workers who admit to having taken higher priced items such as laptops, PDAs or cell phones: 8

Source: Spherion.

Percentage of executives who feel that a good cover letter is valuable and can open doors, according to an OfficeTeam survey: 93

Source: OfficeTeam.

Percentage of baby boomers who said retirement saving was the most important financial lesson they learned from their parents, according to findings of a study of generational differences in retirement planning conducted by Mathew Greenwald and Associates: 15

Percentage who believe they have done an "excellent job" saving for retirement: 21

Percentage who reported success in avoiding credit card debt: 57 (This is 24 percentage points lower than their parents' responses.)

Source: NAVA.

Percentage of American organizations that say their emphasis on improving employee productivity and efficiency has increased during the last year, according to a survey conducted by the Institute for Corporate Productivity: 59

Percentage that say they focus on increasing productivity to a high or very high degree: 49

Percentage of American employees who say their organization does not "get the most" out of its employees or are undecided: 51

Source: Institute for Corporate Productivity.

When factoring in inflation and increases in medical costs, percentage of their final pay at retirement that employees will need to replace, according to Hewitt's Total Retirement Income at Large Companies: The Real Deal report: 126

Traditional percentage pay replacement targets: 70 to 90

Source: Hewitt Associates.

Idle Thought

"Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation." -- Oscar Wilde

(Readers can contact John MacIntyre at johnmacintyre(at)

4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600