Pursuit of happiness? A third of workers unhappy with their job

Revealed: more than a third of workers are unhappy in their current job, with the majority on the search for better opportunities.

As the year draws to a close, a recent study from CV-Library finds more than a third (39.9 per cent) of the nation’s professionals are unhappy in their current roles. What’s more, 96.7 per cent of these workers say they’re looking for a new job as a result.

The survey of 1,200 professionals sought to explore job satisfaction amongst UK workers, and finds more than two thirds (68.6 per cent) have had a job that made them miserable at some point in their career. And, with almost two out of every five (39.9 per cent) admitting that they’re unhappy in their current role, the study identified the top ten industries most affected by low job satisfaction:

Marketing – 57.1 per cent
Legal – 54.5 per cent
Hospitality – 53.3 per cent
Accounting – 50 per cent
IT – 50 per cent
Recruitment – 46.2 per cent
Engineering – 44.8 per cent
Charity – 43.8 per cent
Agriculture – 42.9 per cent
Retail – 42.1 per cent

Respondents were also asked to share the feelings they had because of a job that making them miserable. The top emotions they experienced were anger (44.2 per cent), fatigue (42.4 per cent), boredom (39.2 per cent), judgement (29.6 per cent) and sadness (26.2 per cent).

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, comments, ‘It’s concerning to learn that so many professionals are unhappy in their current roles. While the prospect of a wave of candidates all looking for a new job is great if you’re recruiting, it’s less positive if you’re losing members of your workforce as a result. We spend too much time at work to not enjoy what we do, so it’s important that your staff are feeling happy and productive. Otherwise you could find that your employees are looking elsewhere for a more fulfilling opportunity.’

Furthermore, professionals that are unhappy in their jobs stated that the top reason behind this was the unfulfilling work that they’re currently doing (34.9 per cent). After this, a third (33.7 per cent) were let down by the lack of development opportunities available to them and over one in ten (11.3 per cent) don’t like the company they work for.

Biggins concludes, ‘It’s clear that today’s workers place importance on job satisfaction and career progression. Make sure you’re offering regular opportunities for training and that promotions are given where staff deserve them. It’s also important that you create a happy and friendly environment for your staff. This will help to ensure you have a dedicated and long-standing workforce.’

If you’re concerned about your workforce, CV-Library offers some top tips for attracting and retaining talented employees:

1. Keep the lines of communication open

When facing problems at work, the first port of call for any employee should be their manager. Operate an open door policy so that your staff know that they can approach you if they’re experiencing any problems or negative feelings. This way you can nip it in the bud before things go too far.

2. Shake things up

Progression is important and employees don’t want to become stuck in the same daily routine. Be sure to offer plenty of opportunities for training and allow your workers to take on new responsibilities. This can stop their workload from becoming monotonous, which can quickly cause feelings of dissatisfaction amongst employees.

3. Create a great company culture

Company culture is extremely important. Your workplace needs to have a friendly and open environment, and ultimately, be a place where staff enjoy coming to work. This will help to attract new recruits, but also retain talented members of the team for longer.

4. Strengthen your employer brand

When recruiting, be sure to offer the best possible packages you can. Also consider your website and any tools you’re using to recruit. How do they portray your business? You want to establish yourself as a great place to work after-all. You can shout about this on your site, your social media channels and through any job adverts you post.

Further reading on job happiness

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the Smallbusiness.co.uk and Growthbusiness.co.uk titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the Express.co.uk.

Related Topics

Employee happiness