What do workers want?

4 09 2008

This is the title of research published this week by the TUC summarising the results of a poll carried out by YouGov.  The findings make for reading as depressing as the weather this summer.  Of the 2800 people polled last month and in July, 25% were dissatisfied with their job and would not recommend their employer (which should mean a lot of negative comments on the Glassdoor.com website I mentioned last week), 42% thought that their pay hadn’t kept up with inflation, and 46% complained of increased workload.  39% complained of feeling stressed and, according to the research, 3.5 million people are bullied at work.   Many workers, 30% of respondents did not see themselves as having reasonable promotion prospects.   In all six million people are unhappy at work.

The poll broke the figures down further; workers in Wales were most likely to be dissatisfied, yet their colleagues across the Bristol Channel were the happiest (I’m going to resist making a Welsh joke here).  Not surprisingly workers in sales and customer service roles were most unhappy.  84% of those polled earning more than £60,000 per annum were satisfied and, no surprises here, those at the bottom of the pay scale least likely to be satisfied.  The most surprising result was in the age breakdown, which revealed that workers under 35 and those over 55 were most likely to be committed and loyal to their employers, whilst those between 35 and 55 least likely.   

Maybe we shouldn’t be too surprised.  I always view these types of poll with some scepticism. People rarely shout about how good things are and the British mentality is usually of the “glass half-empty” mentality, especially in the work place.  Perhaps if England had made it to Euro 2008, if the economy wasn’t in such poor shape and we had actually had a summer worth talking about, the results would have been better.  As it is, unemployment may be about to rise, it’s getting dark earlier and the next public holiday is at Christmas.  

C’est la vie …

Take a look at the result – www.tuc.org.uk/em_research

This piece will appear in the “Docklands” and “Peninsula” newspapers week commencing 8th September

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