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Businesses must learn to buck the trend in declining job satisfaction

  • 20 May 2013

The CIPD responds to the 2012 Skills and Employment Survey with evidence of how businesses and public sector organisations could learn from the voluntary sector

As the 2012 Skills and Employment Survey, published today by the Government, reveals that Britain’s employees are feeling more insecure and under pressure at work than at any time the past 20 years, the CIPD is urging businesses to consider how they can improve job satisfaction and employee engagement.

According to the CIPD’s quarterly Employee Outlook survey, which asks more than 2,000 UK employees about their attitudes to working life, engagement levels in the voluntary sector have jumped in recent months, despite prolonged job insecurity in the sector. The survey found that engagement amongst third sector employees is driven not only by an affinity to their organisation’s core purpose, where the voluntary sector might be expected to have an edge, but more importantly by open and honest management teams and cultures of mutual trust and respect, where the private at public sectors have no reason at all to lag their voluntary counterparts.

Peter Cheese, chief executive at the CIPD, said: “The decline in job satisfaction and employee engagement revealed by the Government’s Skills and Employment Survey makes for worrying reading for businesses, the economy and wider society. But CIPD research shows that the voluntary sector appears to be bucking this trend, with valuable lessons to be learned for the private and public sectors. Nevertheless, we need to take the findings of the Government’s latest survey very seriously indeed. Too many recent and spectacular failures – from the banking crisis to public sector scandals like that affecting the Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust – are almost entirely born of problems of culture.  Although profoundly different in many ways, they have common roots in issues of trust, empowerment and engagement. What’s good for people is good for business – and if we can embrace that truth to build cultures in which people want to work and are unified by a common purpose, we can not only prevent catastrophes, we can truly build more sustainable economic growth.”

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