We may technically be out of recession, but that won’t be much consolation to the 1.3m people who have lost their jobs, or indeed those still in a job whose stress levels have gone through the roof. According to the CIPD’s latest Employee Outlook survey, job satisfaction levels have – not surprisingly – taken a battering during the downturn. Apparently 18–24 year-olds are feeling particularly miserable, possibly because ‘they’ve grown up and in an era of plenty, and have not seen anything like this before’. Although maybe they should count themselves lucky to have a job at all…
The figures show that overall job satisfaction levels hit an all-time low of +35 last quarter, down from +48 in the summer (that’s the percentage of people who are happy relative to the percentage who are unhappy). Among younger workers, the drop in morale was even more pronounced, with the index plunging from +44 to a measly +5. In fact, only those in the 55-64 age bracket seem to have kept their peckers up: their score of +55 was exactly the same as six months ago (the prospect of retirement’s a wonderful thing). The survey reports that staff are feeling under greater pressure, falling out with colleagues and being bullied by bosses more regularly than ever before – all of which is driving up stress levels.
What’s more, many still live in fear of losing their jobs: almost one fifth think it is either ‘likely or very likely’ that they could find themselves unemployed as a result of the recession. And if the axe does fall on them, they don’t rate their chances of finding another job: almost two-thirds of those surveyed believe it would be ‘difficult or very difficult’ to find another position if they lost their current one. They’re probably right to worry: 30% of companies in the survey made redundancies last quarter, while 15% are planning to axe more staff this time round. The public sector is likely to suffer the most, with some 31% of organisations planning redundancies.
In other words, it’s pretty clear that regardless of the GDP figure, employees are still feeling very much under the cosh. So managers face a big challenge trying to rebuild morale in 2010 – particularly since many of them will have to keep cutting jobs for a while yet.
In today's bulletin:
The recession is over - or is it?
Apple reports record profits as recession fails to bite
Tough road ahead for Jaguar Land Rover after Smith's surprise exit
Employees can't get no satisfaction, says CIPD
How the public sector has been propping up the UK economy