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Just 10% of people happy in their work

Written by Josh Russell on Monday, 10 June 2013. Posted in Engagement, People

Research shows that many enterprises are falling to prioritise staff engagement

Just 10% of people happy in their work

We’re all aware that a happy workforce is a productive workforce and yet, in actuality, job satisfaction can be somewhat indistinct and hard to pin down. Given it’s something that has occupied the attention of employment gurus for a couple of decades now, it would be nice to think that the average Brit is fairly satisfied with their working life. Unfortunately, as research from managed and cloud-hosting provider PEER 1 Hosting demonstrates, just one in ten workers in Britain would say they are entirely satisfied with their job.

In its Nurturing Potential survey of 1,284 UK workers, PEER 1 identified some key causes of this low level of engagement. Worryingly a lack of faith in their company ranked fairly high up the list, with less than a fifth of employees stating they are inspired by the work their company does. Not nurturing employee talents was also a key failing identified in the report, with just a third of respondents feeling their employer made an effective use of their talents – this seems only worsen with time, as 41% of younger people felt their talents were used effectively, compared to just 28% of 35 - 54-year-olds.

Looking at the regional breakdown of job satisfaction also reveals some interesting results. Despite its image as the place to be entrepreneurially, London has the lowest rate of job satisfaction in the country – the percentage of Londonites happy with their jobs hovers around just 4.0% - 4.9%. Peversely, disregarding the city, the south east shares with Northern Ireland the highest rate of job satisfaction overall, with the percentage of people entirely satisfied with their job totalling around 13% - 13.9% of the working population. Better but still not great by any means.

Within the cloud this casts over UK enterprise, however, there is certainly a silver lining for our nation’s small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). One of the areas the research looked into was how organisation size affected the average employees job satisfaction. The findings suggested that businesses with fewer than ten employees have the highest level of job satisfaction and that, on average, employees for SMEs are much happier in their work than their corporate counterparts, suggesting SMEs have a vital part to play in ensuring we have a healthier, happier workforce.

Whilst in times of economic hardship it can be hard to prevent employee satisfaction slipping down the list of priorities, there is plenty of evidence that having an engaged and properly motivated workforce can mean the difference between success and failure. And this means these findings must serve as a wake-up call to those businesses that have let the satisfaction of their staff slip by the wayside. 

About the Author

Josh Russell

Josh Russell

Our former editor, Russell was the man in charge of properly apostrophising our publication and ensuring Oxford commas are mercilessly excised. Our former digital doyen, he’s also a Photoshop pro, a dab hand with InDesign and the man to go to if you need a four-hour soliloquy about the UK's best silicon startups.

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