Job satisfaction among public sector workers in the United Kingdom is the highest it has been for 4 years. However, workers in this sector are still the most likely to report being under excessive job pressure and feeling exhausted by work.
This is according to the latest Employee Outlook survey report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and Halogen Software.
The survey of 2,000 employees finds two-thirds (66 percent) of public sector workers report being satisfied with their jobs, slightly higher than workers overall (63 percent). The last time it reached this level was in autumn 2012.
The majority of employees surveyed said they were satisfied with their jobs. Image: pixabay-1000934
However, the survey also shows that two in five (43 percent) public sector workers – compared with only 38 percent of all employees – say they experience excessive job pressure at least once a week.
And nearly half say they are often or always exhausted when they get home from work – compared with only a third, 33 percent, of all employees.
One of the report authors, Claire McCartney, of the CIPD, says:
“It’s fantastic to see such a leap in job satisfaction in the public sector since our last survey in the spring, especially in such uncertain times for the UK.”
However, she also says bosses must not overlook that this higher job satisfaction is accompanied by higher levels of work pressure and exhaustion.
“Previous research has shown that the public sector also has the highest levels of absence and number of employees coming into work ill by some margin,” warns McCartney, “so it’s crucial that employers address these issues before workers burn out and satisfaction levels take a nose dive.”
Room for improvement – career development
Looking more closely at job satisfaction, the survey shows that overall, the employees most likely to feel satisfied are the ones who believe they have the right level of qualification for their role (68 percent), compared with only 26 percent of those who feel over-qualified.
The study suggests there is significant room for improvement across all sectors when it comes to skills and career development. The survey found:
– 24 percent of employees are not satisfied with the opportunities to develop skills in their current job
– 27 percent say their organizations do not offer opportunities to learn and grow
– 33 percent say they are unlikely to meet their career aspirations with their current employer
However, on a more positive note, the survey suggests employees across all sectors are quite optimistic about the future following the Brexit decision to leave the European Union.
Over half (57 percent) believe it is unlikely they will lose their current main job compared with one in ten (12 percent) who feel it is likely.
Also, nearly half (48 percent) of employees believe their financial security is about the same now as it was in early 2016, and a similar proportion (47 percent) believe this will not change in the next 12 months.
When asked about what effect they felt the Brexit decision has had in their organization, most employees said it has made no difference to organizational costs, training and development, and investment in equipment and technology.