Friday, 27 July 2012

Happy Employees?


   Right, sorry about that – two weeks away from blogging.  I’m not sure why really though I have been feeling a bit less buzzy than normal.  For example I found myself in a particularly morose mood at the Monster Buzz event last week.  Perhaps it was the questions I was asked but I seemed to spend a lot more time talking about why talent management isn’t working very well rather than why it’s so important (although we did still come to the collective conclusion that talent management IS more important than talent acquisition, so that’s one positive outcome recently).  Although perhaps of course this is one reason why it is so important?

It doesn’t seem to be just me that’s low on enthusiasm.  One of the surveys I mentioned at Monster Buzz was Towers Watson’s Global Workforce study suggesting that that a quarter of UK workers feel stuck in their roles and three quarters say that their ability to advance in their career has either got worse or stayed the same compared to a year ago.  (I think it was at this point that one of my fellow panellists suggested they were surprised in what I was saying and hadn’t realised how bad things had become.)

Then, there’s the CIPD’s Employee Outlook which suggests that only a third of workers trust their senior leaders and more than half display signs of having adopted a ‘not bothered’ attitude to their work.

Like me, the CIPD also put this down to poor talent management:

“At the CIPD we are curious as to why so many feel this way,
particularly given the business and personal benefits reported
in the survey of when people are actively engaged at work.

There are a number of pointers in the research as to why people
might be feeling this way – and these mainly relate to how
people are managed. While satisfaction with immediate
managers is generally strong, there are continuous issues around
a lack of personal development – including coaching on the job,
discussing learning and development and giving feedback on
performance. Perceptions of leaders also need to improve, with
views on leaders’ consultation being particularly poor and trust
and confidence in leaders falling further this quarter.”


The one piece of good news I suppose is that people are at least more engaged in work than they are without it – shows in this week’s National Wellbeing survey (Happiness Index) results that whilst 20% of UK workers rated their life satisfaction below 7 out of 10, this increased to 45% in the unemployed.  That’s not saying much though is it, surely we should be aiming for more?

Perhaps the Olympics is going to help, but even if the games do manage to ‘inspire a generation’, this doesn’t mean they’re are going to have much impact on people’s attitude within employment…

I’ll be considering this issue over the next couple of weeks…




  • Consulting - Research - Speaking - Training - Writing
  • Strategy - Talent - Engagement - Change and OD
  • Contact me to create more value for your business
  • jon [dot] ingham [at] strategic [dash] hcm [dot] com


1 comment:

  1. Jon, as we move to increasingly an increasingly sophisticated economy where most people are in professional employment, the role of leadership becomes increasingly important. I don’t mean inspiring people to follow you but rather supporting them in their daily work. As the leader of a successful growing global learning technologies innovator I know the only way we can continue to survive and thrive is with happy, engaged employees. Since I recently shifted my focus to this I have noticed an improvement not only in workplace atmosphere but also in performance. My new job title summarizes the importance I give to this: Chief Happiness Officer & CEO.


Please add your comment here (email me your comments if you have trouble and I will put them up for you)