Are you happy in your work?

October 19th, 2011

Latest survey shows that we are not as happy as we were.

This latest Happiness at Work Index, shows that employee happiness is steadily decreasing. During 2011; with the percentage of workers reporting high levels of morale fell from almost half (46.6%) in January to two fifths (40.6%) in March to October’s figure of just 36.5%.

This might not be so surprising given the economic climate as it is understandable that workers may well be feeling insecure with continued announcements of redundancies, few pay increases and rising cost of living.

A priority issue

It seems to be accepted that this is an important issue and that happiness at work does  impact on business performance.

Nicola Linkleter, Managing Director of Badenoch & Clark said: “The fluctuation in workplace happiness over this year can be attributed to a number of factors, including longer hours, increased financial strain at work and home, and reticence from senior management to invest in additional talent. Coupled with a lack of tangible job security, happiness at work is remarkably low, and must be dealt with as a priority issue.

“Organisations must now take action to create a working environment where employees are able to develop a sense that their work is both valuable and valued. Failure to do so may result in loss of talent, which in turn may lead to loss of potential revenue.”

So what to do?

If we accept that the above statements are correct, the big question then is what can employers do about it.

Sir Terry Leahy was speaking recently at the CIPD conference and in my mind summed in up simply and beautifully when talking about employee engagement. He referred to four basic tenets of employee engagement that he would impart into all managers and stated
“People really only need four things at work: a job that interests them, a chance to get on, to be treated with respect and to have a boss that helps them.”

Whilst we can’t do much alone about the current economic climate, all employers can take action to address these issues now. It is not rocket science, it will no doubt improve business performance which is even more crucial in this climate and as Sir Terry put it “It’s not a lot to ask”.

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