Half of workers unhappy at work

More than half of employees are unhappy at work and more than one-third are seriously considering leaving their jobs.

This is according to a survey by HR consulting, outsourcing and investment company Mercer, which also found that employee engagement has dropped significantly in the past four years.

The survey of 2,400 workers in more than 1,000 private sector organisations found that 61% felt that their work gave them a feeling of personal accomplishment, compared with 70% four years ago. Additionally, 55% of employees said that they were proud to work for their organisation compared with 60% in 2006.

Chris Johnson, UK head of human capital at Mercer, commented: “During the recession, many employees have faced a mix of pay freezes, training and benefit cuts, and limited promotion opportunities – and have often absorbed extra workloads due to redundancy programmes. Many are still feeling vulnerable and generally unhappy with their lot.

“Employers should be concerned at the potential loss of many key employees with the skills and experience that they have invested in, and who are needed to drive their company recovery plans.”

Mercer has recommended that employers review their reward package, alongside development and learning opportunities, in order to encourage employee engagement. However, it stresses that businesses also need to look at the qualitative aspects of the working environment, such as respect, recognition and work-life balance.

For information on how line managers can contribute to employee engagement, read XpertHR’s line manager briefing.

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