Employees satisfied in roles, with Norwich and Liverpool workers the happiest

Some 71 per cent of UK employees feel satisfied in their current job, according to a study. 

The research of more than 2,500 employees by business psychologists OPP finds that while employee satisfaction is on the rise, there are key regional differences as to where Britain’s most satisfied employees reside.

The UK’s most cheerful workers can be found in Norwich (77 per cent), Liverpool (76 per cent) and Birmingham (74 per cent).

However, fulfilment among employees is at its lowest in Newcastle and Cardiff, where 64 per cent of employees feel contented at work, followed by Glasgow (66 per cent).

Despite these differences, employee happiness across the UK is on the rise, with 36 per cent of all surveyed employees saying that they feel more satisfied at work than they did last year.

The top three factors influencing job satisfaction are workload (26 per cent), salary increases (25 per cent), and changes in management (22 per cent).

Workplace dissatisfaction peaks among employees working in the finance sector and 18 per cent describe themselves as very or quite dissatisfied.

This is closely followed by retail, catering and leisure and manufacturing and utilities industries, where 16 per cent of staff in both sectors feel discontented at work.

Those industries that are often perceived as highly demanding produce the most satisfied workers. Around 79 per cent of workers in architecture, engineering and building feel satisfied in their roles, as do those working in sales, media and marketing.

However, despite improving satisfaction levels, nearly a third (31 per cent) of UK workers say they do not feel successful at work, while 35 per cent also say that they don’t receive the support they need from their employer to be successful.

More than a third (36 per cent) of employees feel that receiving more clear communication would enable them to be more successful in their role, while 30 per cent call for more clarity about decision making.

John Hackston, head of research at OPP says that although it is great to see employee happiness on the rise, the research shows that job satisfaction doesn’t fully translate into feeling successful at work.

‘Employees highlight that improving communication within organisations is particularly important. Effective communication will not only improve performance and decision-making but also enables employees to better understand the organisation’s strategy,’ he adds.

‘By addressing the factors that affect workplace satisfaction, businesses can help their employees achieve their full potential.’

Further reading on employee satisfaction

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of SmallBusiness.co.uk from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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Employee happiness