A new international study has revealed that the UK has one of the lowest levels of workplace satisfaction compared to countries such as the U.S., Germany and the Netherlands. Bucking this trend is essential if employers want to retain and attract the best talent, particularly in the highly competitive digital, IT and tech jobs market.
The research by Robert Half, entitled ‘It’s Time We All Work Happy®: The Secrets of the Happiest Companies and Employees’, looked at happiness levels of 23,000 professionals across Europe, Australia and North America. Around 2,000 of these were in the UK. The following countries were ranked at the top of the list:
- The United States – average happiness rating (0-100) of 71.8
- Germany – average rating 71.2
- The Netherlands – average rating 69.9.
Sixth on the list was the UK, which scored just 67.2 behind countries such as France and Belgium.
What matters to employees?
One of the most significant findings of the research was the drivers that influence employee satisfaction in the workplace. Number one for many countries was being treated with fairness and respect, followed closely by feeling appreciated and having pride in one’s organisation.
Robert Half’s senior managing director Phil Sheridan commented on the research and offered some valuable advice to employers:
“Employee happiness is closely connected to organisational productivity and innovation. Happy employees are typically more engaged and driven to succeed, creating a positive and high performing work environment,”
“By taking the time to offer feedback and show sincere signs of appreciation, employers can increase employee engagement and satisfaction, leading to higher levels of happiness in the workplace.”
Why employee happiness matters to recruiters
Satisfaction in the workplace doesn’t just affect existing staff. It affects retention and the entire recruitment strategy, as well as the perception of your business as a good or bad place to work. Candidates now have more ways than ever to investigate what it’d be like to work for your company, through sites like Glassdoor and platforms such as LinkedIn.
Studies have shown that money isn’t always the best motivator for employees, and that it doesn’t always drive engagement. If your company is competing in a crowded market and doesn’t have the clout to offer employees in terms of large salaries, the next best way to attract top talent is with a first-class company culture. High levels of employee happiness and professional satisfaction can do wonders to broadcast to candidates what a fantastic place your company is to work, and your existing employees can be advocates for this.
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