A new piece of research has revealed that the UK is falling behind most other countries in Europe on work satisfaction. The research comes from global recruitment consultancy Robert Half. They worked with Nic Marks from Happiness Works too.
Employee happiness was evaluated across Europe, Australia and North America with 23,000 workers surveyed.
Happiness was ranked on a scale between 0-100, which 100 being the happiest. The research found that the happiest employees are in the US, Germany and the Netherlands, who ranked 71.8, 71.2 and 69.9 respectively. The countries with the lowest levels are France at 63.8, Belgium at 65.2 and the UK at 67.2.
Different factors in work satisfaction
The research also revealed that people in different countries had different key focuses to achieve happiness at work. In the UK, US and Canada, the highest rated factors were having pride in the organisation, feeling appreciated and followed by being treated well.
On the other hand, people in Belgium, France, Germany and Australia said being treated well is their top factor. The Netherlands valued a sense of accomplishment as their main factor in happiness at work.
Phil Sheridan, senior managing director at Robert Half said: “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.”
Ways to improve work satisfaction
One of the simplest options is to give your workers a pay rise. However, this can obviously be costly and not an option for businesses who are a bit short on spare cash. It also doesn’t address daily problems that your workers might be having at work.
Alternatively, you might consider a one-off bonus to reward workers for their hard work. This would be particularly welcome around Christmas or the start of the summer holidays.
Come up with a new perk
Workers often like the little things, and a new perk could be just the thing to give your office morale a boost. Think about introducing pets at the office, early finish Fridays or free food.
Offer flexible working
More and more companies are seeing the benefits of offering flexible working. Whether that means flexible hours, allowing your workers to work from home or remotely, this can go a long way to keep employees happy.
There’s a lot more focus on the term work-life balance nowadays. So helping your workers achieve a good balance will make them healthier, happier workers. Work output will usually improve as will absence rates and worker retention.
Encourage an open dialogue
You’ll never know what your workers are facing if you don’t ask. Make sure you create an atmosphere of openness and make yourself approachable.
For things like mental health issues and stress, workers will often not tell anyone at work. This is usually out of fear of embarrassment but it usually ends up making the problem worse. So it’s something that needs to be discussed and dealt with sensitively.
What do you think of the results? How do you ensure you’ve got a happy workforce? Let us know what you think.