Sunday, 25 October 2009

The Brits: Miserable again.

It’s cold, raining, and windy.

The clocks going back mean that it’s dark just after lunch.

Hardly any wonder that we’re a miserable bunch.

But it’s official. For the average employee in the UK, job satisfaction has plunged from a score of 46 to 37. To make the situation even grimmer, 28% of us believe that our personal living standards have worsened, compared to a miserly 14% (presumably bankers!) who consider them to have improved.

Fed up yet? It gets worse! Six month ago only 38% of us reported excessive pressure at work, but this has now risen to 42%. We’re also more likely than a few months ago to say that we have seen increases in stress and conflict at work, as well as bullying by line managers (of whom women are by far the worst, as readers of HR Case Studies already know.)

The CIPD, who commissioned the survey, interpret its results by saying that “in the spring we interpreted high job satisfaction in the face of the recession as a 'fixed grin', where employees felt lucky just to have a job. In this quarter, the fixed grin is slipping”

To top it off, more of us would ideally like to change jobs (if we could actually find one to go to)

What does this mean for employers? “Employers could face a talent drain as the labour market recovers – just when they need all hands to the pump to capitalise on recovery,” says the CIPD. “Employers must also focus on developing the people management skills of their front line managers if they want to manage stress and encourage and enable employees.”

Hemlock anyone?

UK job satisfaction has plunged, says CIPD report

  • What can companies practically do to motivate employees during such challenging times?
  • The survey concludes that “productivity and competitiveness could be undermined in firms most affected.” What is this likely to mean in practice?
  • Deep and philosophical question: Spike Milligan once said, "Money can't buy you happiness but it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery." Was he right?

1 comment:

  1. The saving grace for employers is that most organisations are in the same position. I think that talent leaving in droves for ‘greener grass’ will be tempered as employees will be concerned about jumping from the frying pan into the fire. And as for talent going abroad - well given that this is a global recession, perhaps it won’t be as marked as the CIPD predicts.

    I agree with the CIPD that having leaders with strong people management skills is a key to seeing companies through difficult times. However these skills need to already be embedded in the culture of the organisation – to start such programmes now is an interesting recommendation when the first thing that often falls by the wayside when times are hard is the L&D budget!

    And as for the wisdom of Spike: Well, like most people Monday mornings normally find me feeling fairly miserable – but not today. The source of my happiness? Well it’s not money but an interaction with a special person in my life. You see – whilst money can cushion the sharp edges of life, it’s people and relationships that make the world tick. As someone once said (can’t quite remember who) - money can’t buy you love!