At Hales Group we recently conducted a survey to gain a greater understanding of what is making employees unhappy at work. Conducting the UK wide survey, we wanted to find out what the unhappiest sector is, which region has the highest number of unhappy employees, the areas that staff wish they could change at work and their biggest dislike about where they work.
Poor management was found to be making employees most unhappy at work as 48% said that this was the cause of their workplace sadness, followed by 20% who said that they were not paid enough. 13% felt that their company has no career progression, and with company culture something which many organisations are placing a large emphasis on, 13% said that this was not up to scratch and was making them unhappy.
Overall employee satisfaction was below average in the survey, with 23% less than satisfied with going to work each day.
The South East is the unhappiest region in the UK, with the largest number of respondents coming from this area, followed by the East Midlands – showing that businesses in this area are not up to employee standards, and leaving room for work to be done by managers and organisations in this region.
As for the unhappiest sector, those who work in education said that they were the most unhappy, with employees in accountancy, banking and finance coming closely behind. Social care and tech were found to be two of the most satisfactory sectors to work in.
Management is the thing that 41% of employees would like to change about their job the most, with 27% saying that the company culture requires improvement if it is to improve their happiness at work.
With management coming top overall for making employees unhappy and being the area that staff would like to change, management teams within organisations need to look at the ways that it can provide better support to employees in order to improve their workplace wellbeing and professional development.
The survey highlights that company culture is not pleasing employees, as it is evident that pay alone is not the key to increasing job satisfaction. Monetary gain is no longer essential to keeping employees happy, with a greater emphasis on a workplace which has a culture which is inclusive and accommodating to all employees and allows them a work/life balance to suit their needs and lifestyle.
Kirsty Walpole, Director of Sales and Operations at Hales Group, comments, “It is interesting to see that poor management now outweighs low salary as the thing people most dislike, however, this would mirror what candidates tell us when they register. The biggest reason for leaving a role is that workers do not feel appreciated. Your culture and surroundings play a big part in how you feel at work, and you are with your colleagues for up to 8 hours a day, so this is understandable. This is something all employers should focus on to increase retention and productivity.”