Job satisfaction on the up despite economic downturn

Job satisfaction has increased despite the impact of the recession, but relations between staff and their managers have strained, a survey has found.

The ’employee outlook’ survey, conducted by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), revealed employee satisfaction has increased by 20% since 2006 to 46%, but the HR professional body warned this could be due to employees’ relief at still having a job.

Women were found to be happier with their jobs with 51% claiming they were satisfied, compared to 41% of men.

Ben Willmott, senior public policy adviser at the CIPD and co-author of the survey, said: “Job satisfaction may have edged up, but this could be the employee opinion survey equivalent of a fixed grin. Employees grateful to have a job at all are less likely to grumble, and more likely to see scorched earth rather than greener grass on the other side of the fence.”

The report also found while most of the 3,000 respondents felt supported and treated fairly by their line managers, they were much less happy with the extent to which their managers discussed their training and development, gave feedback, or coached them.

More than a third said managers rarely or never discuss their training and development needs, while 46% said managers did not provide feedback on their performance.

Four-fifths of employees admitted they did not trust their managers, and 48% believed their managers did not adequately consult staff about important decisions.

Willmott added: “Employers need to invest in developing their line managers’ people management skills, particularly in the area of coaching and performance management, if they want to boost employee engagement and productivity.

“It is imperative that government investment includes a greater emphasis on the development of people management skills among the UK’s four million managers.”

The survey also revealed 52% of the 3,000 respondents reported an increase in work-related stress, while four in 10 had noticed a rise in office politics.

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