Monday, 28 September 2009

Six million UK workers are unfulfilled in their jobs

According to a new survey by workplace assessment and development specialists SHL, apparently 22% of us find work unfulfilling. More than one in five UK workers consider themselves to be rarely or never fulfilled in their jobs. This dissatisfaction (which is felt most strongly in the younger working population) has got even worse as a result of the recession. SHL warn that although the current job market may mean that few workers are actively looking to change jobs, if the economy picks up again this could lead to a mass exodus of dissatisfied employees.

Some frightening statistics:

  • 22% of us rarely or never feel fulfilled at work. That’s around six million employees
  • 23% of the 16-35 age group say they do not feel they are in the right job for them
  • 32% of workers questioned say they have re-evaluated the type of organisation for which they work as a result of the recession
  • Workers in retail, leisure and catering industries were found to have the least job satisfaction, with 31% saying they rarely or never feel fulfilled in their job.

Almost six million UK workers failing to find job fulfilment

  • What are the problems that companies will face if a large percentage of their employees feel unfulfilled in their jobs?
  • What can companies to do remedy this situation?
  • A quarter of those between 16 and 35 say they rarely or never feel fulfilled at work. Why might this be?
  • What could be the factors that have led to workers in healthcare and education claiming the highest job satisfaction levels, but those in retail, leisure and catering claiming the lowest?
  • Further research activity: Explore the different tools that SHL market and consider how these might be used to address this problem.


  1. Would be interesting to see what the statistics are for life in general!!

    As for what tools there are on the market to look at this issue, then I think organisations need to be look at those that can be used across the whole organisation rather than focusing on the individual. One such tool is OCI (Organisational Cultural Inventory), owned by Human Synergistics inc. This looks at 12 styles of behaviour that can be found within an organisation and, having gathered data via an organisation wide questionnaire, maps the results on circumplex (a circular graph to you and me).

    Three key areas are highlighted: Constructive styles; Passive/Defensive styles and Aggressive/Defensive styles. Needless to say they have found that the more effective and high performing cultures will typically have ‘higher scores’ for the constructive styles and fewer for the other two styles of behaviour.

    An organisation armed with this information can then put measures in place to start changing the profile of the company. Given that changing culture doesn’t happen overnight they can then plot progress by undertaking further surveys.

    A word of caution though - as someone who’s been around HR for longer than I care to remember - it is important that an organisation investing in such a tool as part of a cultural change programme sticks with it. All too often a programme is kicked off with the best intentions, everyone is enthusiastic and then it’s replace by something else or not carried through. The net result? You end up with a workforce that is more dissatisfied then they would have been had their expectations not been raised in the first place!


  2. NAR (post deleted)

    As your post appeared to be advertising a service of no direct relevance to the item, it's been deleted

  3. your blog is very nice , thanks for your inforantion