Worker happiness is on the slide. Although the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s measure of net job satisfaction is at least in positive figures at +40, that’s a big dip on the +48 recorded last autumn and the lowest level for two years. The slide can be seen across all sizes of business, as well as in the voluntary and public sectors.
The figures come from the CIPD and Halogen’s Employee Outlook report, which also suggested that this drop in happiness is encouraging workers to look elsewhere – almost a quarter are looking for a new job. So what can you do to make sure it’s not your star performers whose eyes are wondering?
The report found several things that workers find irksome. More than a third (36%) are unhappy with their level of pay, so you might need to open your wallet a bit wider if you want to keep staff retention up. And 31% said they often or always come home feeling exhausted.
Read more: 8 ways to reduce staff turnover
The researchers also asked workers to rank their line manager in terms of how often and effectively they meet certain criteria – from ‘always’ through ‘sometimes’ to ‘never’. While a majority said their boss always or usually made clear what is expected of them and is always or usually supportive if they have a problem, there are several areas where Britain’s managers could be doing better.
1. Giving feedback: Just 41% said their line manager always or usually gives them feedback. Only half said their boss recognises when they do something well. You can’t expect someone to keep doing a good job if they don’t know what a good job looks like.
2. Coaching: A quarter of workers said their boss never coaches them on the job and just 9% said they always do. While coaching isn’t something that’s appropriate for every role, teaching workers how to do their job better could make them more engaged.
3. Communication: More than half (53%) said their boss only sometimes, rarely, or never keeps them in the loop about what’s going on. Not informing your juniors about key issues in the company can leave them feeling alienated.
4. Keeping promises: A lack of trust can be toxic to a workplace relationship. Little more than half of workers said their boss could always or usually be relied upon to keep their promises. What’s more, 18% said their boss never or rarely treats them fairly. That's probably not the best way to convince your staff to stay put.