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Workforce happier but no room for complacency

Workforce happier but no room for complacency

February 2010 - In our latest survey, 78% of respondents reported high levels of happiness in the workplace. That's an increase of 2% from the last quarterly Index, and brings happiness levels nearly back up to their pre-recession peak.

However, despite these recovering levels of workplace happiness, nearly a fifth (18%) of respondents are actively looking to move jobs and over 41% expect to change jobs this year. The prospective exodus of employees from their current roles comes at a time when many recruitment freezes have been lifted (31%) and businesses are looking to bring on new talent.

In July 2007 our research revealed that half (49%) of office workers would see flexible working opportunities as a key attraction to another employer. In this latest research, it seems that employers have taken this message on board with 49% of office workers telling us that they have this opportunity in their workplace. In fact, flexible working was the highest ranked benefit outside of a core package. We also asked workers what the most important things about their jobs were. Whilst the top three may cause little surprise, it is worth noting that the opportunity to make a worthwhile contribution comes in at fourth place (29%).

What are the most important things to you about your job?

The people 41%
The quality of the work I do 25%
The money 25%
The opportunity to make a worthwhile contribution 22%
The success of the organisation 21%
The career prospects 15%
The reputation of the organisation 14%
The quality of my manager 13%
A good training ground 13%

Neil Wilson, managing director of Badenoch & Clark commented, "Wherever possible, employers should capitalise on the greater feelings of optimism and happiness amongst their workforce by looking to enhance employees' current roles. Retention strategies should top the agenda. Tactics such as reinforcing appropriate company behaviours in line with your company values, providing interesting and challenging work and rewarding and recognising individuals fairly, should be employed to persuade workers to remain with you for the long term."

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