Though times appear to be good in the employment market at the moment, there is a sense of unease drifting through offices across the land. A number of external factors are placing increasing pressure on workers in the UK, inspiring some of the highest staff turnover rates certain industries have seen in some time. Employee happiness is a crucial piece of the puzzle when it comes to running a successful business, and could hold the key to stemming the tide.
Why is Employee Happiness Important?
Happiness and Productivity
There is an intrinsic link between employee job satisfaction and productivity; an unhappy employee is an unmotivated one, and an unmotivated one is an unproductive one. By engaging with employee wants and needs, employers can create a positive, welcoming and comfortable working environment that inspires the best in their staff.
A unique phenomenon emerged in the employment market in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, with stress levels at their highest amongst employees in a number of industries. Many workers saw the end of lockdown restrictions as an opportunity to seek better prospects, leading to a very British version of the Great Resignation which had also begun to plague service industries in the US.
Pay was the chief motivator for worker resignations across the pond, but in the UK, many resigned in search of better benefits and more of a work-life balance. As such, the market is more competitive than ever before; ensuring employee satisfaction is a key measure for minimising the costly effects of high employee turnover.
How Can You Keep Your Employees Happy?
If work-from-home guidance taught us anything in 2020 and 2021, it’s that the majority of employees are more than capable of managing their own workload – and that many of them are happier when given more control over their hours and working conditions. Instituting flexible hours and hybrid work agreements gives employees freedom and convenience, enabling them to draw their own lines between their personal and professional lives.
Pay, Perks and Benefits
Money talks a lot when it comes to employment, and especially in a financial landscape where pay is falling in real terms against inflation. Of course, not every company can afford the kinds of generous pay rises they may want to give. There are other ways to recompense staff and improve contentment, though, in the form of robust perks and benefits – from rewards and recognition to healthcare resources.
What are the Happiest Locations for Employees in the UK?
There is a regional element to employee satisfaction, with businesses in different areas of the UK more likely to return high levels of staff contentment. The distribution for this was revealed as part of a survey by signage specialists instantprint, who questioned 2,000 workers in the UK about their job satisfaction.
According to the survey, Manchester was the area with the highest overall level of job satisfaction; 27% of workers based in Manchester rated their satisfaction with their workplace as ‘very high’. Central London came a close second, with 26% of London workers rating their employer highly.
Overall, Northern cities won out in terms of popularity with workers, with other weightings involving job vacancy levels and median wage preferring southern cities – illustrating the regional effects beyond company culture that can impact satisfaction levels.