Spring shoots of recovery a timely boost following government 'happiness index' launch

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New research featuring the views of 185,000 private sector employees reveals a spring in the step as over 63% of survey respondents claim morale is now high at their company compared to just 48% this time last year. The research was conducted by leading consultancy and bespoke HR technology provider ETS.

HR Technology Provider - ETS plc

HR Technology Provider - ETS plc

The level of happiness among UK employees is a particularly hot topic at present with Prime Minister David Cameron unveiling his plans for a 'happiness index'. Organisations must continue to invest in employees and HR processes to engage and retain staff.

New research featuring the views of 185,000 private sector employees reveals a spring in the step as over 63% of survey respondents claim morale is now high at their company compared to just 48% this time last year.

The research was conducted by leading consultancy and bespoke HR technology provider ETS plc Survey findings also show that 88% of workers enjoy their job and 87% intent to still be working for the same organisation in a year's time. However, respondents remain worried about job security with only 66% of people feeling that their job is secure.

1. Basic pay satisfaction rises
Although a notoriously low figure in employee surveys, and despite widespread pay freezes during the economic downturn, satisfaction with basic pay is up. Fifty-four percent of people believe their basic pay is fair for the work they do - an increase of seven percent from January 2010.

2. Better work-life balance boosts happiness
The number of employees reportedly happy with the hours they work climbed to 85% (up from 81%). And 77% of respondents are happy with their work-life balance (up from 73%). These statistics are particularly interesting given recent TUC data revealing that 5.26 million workers (21% of the workforce) - more than ever before - regularly work unpaid overtime.

3. Improved management of performance
Companies have seemingly acted on the need for clearer communication around performance appraisals and the sharing of organisational goals. Many have added such clarity by automating performance management systems. The result is that 88% of workers say they fully understand how their role fits into the overall objectives of their organisation, which is up from 77%.

4. Training and development valued
Eight out of ten respondents (79%) report that they're happy with the training and development at their current employer (up from 72%). And 74% are happy with the opportunities for career development - a key driver of engagement for talent (up from 68%).

Hannah Stratford, Head of Business Psychology at ETS, comments:

There are certainly some real positives to take from our research. The uplift in results shows a more optimistic and positive mood among workers and suggests that organisations are addressing key employee issues and are creating a better working environment.

Stratford adds:

The level of happiness among UK employees is a particularly hot topic at present with Prime Minister David Cameron unveiling his plans for a 'happiness index'. Organisations must continue to invest in employees and HR processes to engage and retain their top talent and maximise business performance.

Research date - March 2011

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Dominic Wake
ETS plc
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