From education to employment

C&Gs Happiness Index is out. Appreciation makes your more happy than £s

Almost five million Brits admit to a touch of ergophobia (fear of work!), with some of the nation’s top earners, lawyers and bankers, dreading the morning alarm clock the most. Of the 29million employees in the UK(ONS 2007 statistics on employment), 16% (according to the 2007 Happiness Index) fear the returning to work. The average worker scored 6.7 out of 10. According to the research money is not the route to happiness: 41% of bankers and 32% of lawyers are below the national average in terms of workplace happiness. So how come Hairdressers are more happy than lawyers? According to the latest research from City and Guilds: Appreciation, Training and Development make us more happy than money.

City & Guilds, the UK’s leading authority on vocational education and training issues, compiles the Happiness Index annually to track the satisfaction and fulfilment of the country’s workforce. This year the City & Guilds Happiness Index surveyed 1,000 UK employees, revealing that nearly a third of people (32%) claimed that they were not particularly happy at work giving a satisfaction rating of less than 7 out of 10. At the bottom of the pile are HR managers (2%), lawyers (4%) and secretaries (4%).

So what factors make us whistle while we work? Nineteen per cent of us would like to “do something worthwhile” and almost one in six (15%) just want a more flexible workday. However, the report also shows a need to focus on training at work with, personal development identified as a key contributor to happiness: 8% of those surveyed cited that training and development would make their role more satisfying.

The survey also shows that employers are (as one might suspect) out of touch when it comes to gauging employee happiness ““ but not in the way you might think! Bosses scored their workers” happiness lower than workers rated it themselves. And when asked what they felt was key to a happier workforce, a quarter of employers (26%) said financial incentive, while only 17% of their employees thought the same.

Chris Humphries, director general of City & Guilds, comments on the results: “When asked to rate their workplace in terms of happiness, almost a third of people earning in the £10 – £15k bracket gave their job a 10 out of 10. Compare that to workers in the £40 – £45k income bracket, where less than 5% gave their workplace a 10. This indicates, and it may come as a surprise to some, that financial reward doesn”t always mean a happier working environment or employee.”

However, it’s not all bad news as the City & Guilds Happiness Index also reveals a more contented side to our British workforce as the dawn of a new workday brings joy to hairdressers. A cheerful 57% admitting they look forward to returning to work after a day off. The nation’s happy coiffeurs are closely followed by beauty therapists, early years and childcare workers and plumbers.

And nearly half of the happiest bunch in the pile, the hairdressers, scored training in their workplace with a whopping 10 out of 10! Whereas the sore secretaries who rate their workplace happiness a sorry 6 out of 10, the lowest score in the study, gave workplace training and development a measly 5!

The City & Guilds Happiness Index shows a clear link between workplace happiness and training claims Humphries: “A quarter of all UK workers have, or would, leave a position because of a lack of training and these results clearly demonstrate that some of the happiest workers are those who feel they have a lot of opportunities for professional development.

“It’s about time employers woke up to that fact as we all know a happy workforce is a productive workforce. Moreover, investing in training makes workers feel appreciated and, consequently, more loyal.

“A lot of companies, including City & Guilds, are placing increasing importance on the happiness and fulfilment of their staff. And rightly so. Most workers spend an average of 37 hours at work every week ““ which is almost two thousand hours per year, and that’s a lot of time to be spending in a job where you”re not happy.”

How can we push FE and WBL to be the most happy profession in the UK? According to C&G’s research it is not money, but training, development and appreciation that contribute to work place happiness. All we offer is Training and Development, so how would you feel appreciated? Email your articles to: [email protected]

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