1 in 3 workers are unhappy

In an age of job uncertainty, growing competition and rising workplace stress and anxiety, one in three workers report being unhappy at work with 45 per cent of workers looking to move jobs in 2019.

The 2019 Job Exodus research developed by Investors in People highlights improvements in satisfaction across the UK workforce, representing a slight upward trend. However, despite the reduction in the proportion of those considering a job move, there are still nearly 1 in 3 unhappy workers in our workforce.

IIP CEO, Paul Devoy, commented,

Despite a decade or more of research looking at the economic benefits of happiness, it’s frustrating that all too often, wellbeing at work focuses on reducing stress not increasing happiness. Yet we know that humans want to be engaged in meaningful relationships, feel valued and useful. And that in this environment people are both happier and more productive.

Empirical analysis and experience have shown that increasing happiness has anything from a 12 per cent to 14per cent * effect on productivity. Some estimate that for every £1 that an organisation invests in mental wellbeing support, they can expect £9 return on investment*.

If organisations are to attract and retain talent, then leaders need to ACT ON this area of employee experience and increase the happiness of their people.

Fifty-four per cent of job seekers are looking for an increase in salary but paying your people more isn’t the best way to retain talent. Instead workers stay in jobs where there is a good work-life balance (37 per cent) and a good team (34 per cent).

Despite economists’ predictions that the gig economy is the way of the future, the research indicates that job security is what nearly half of all workers are looking for. Both the Taylor Report and subsequent Good Work Plan highlight the value of flexi-time to UK workers, something 25 per cent of workers here agree with. However, in addition to job security, UK workers are demanding good teams (34 per cent) and want to feel valued at work (16 per cent). Indicating that people are prepared to give up some flexibility to re-establish a social contract with employers.

With only 5 per cent of workers reporting trust in their leaders it’s no surprise that workforce is willing to look elsewhere for security.

The top three reasons for people wanting a new job are: They feel they can get more money elsewhere (33 per cent); They feel they can get more satisfaction elsewhere (30 per cent); They don’t feel their skills are valued by current employers (21per cent)

Investors in People results revealed that 26 per cent of people believe that Brexit will negatively impact their job security, which is a 3 per cent increase from last year indicating that until there is more certainty about the post- Brexit deal, it is likely to continue to be a cause for concern for the workforce.

The Job Exodus 2019 research clearly outlines that if employers wish to attract and retain staff, they must not only offer pay at a competitive level for their sector, but they must also ensure good quality, enjoyable work.

Interested in employer wellbeing and the future of work?  Join us at our Future of Work Summit 2019, and our Workplace Wellbeing and Stress Forum 2019






Aphrodite is a creative writer and editor specialising in publishing and communications. She is passionate about undertaking projects in diverse sectors. She has written and edited copy for media as varied as social enterprise, art, fashion and education. She is at her most happy owning a project from its very conception, focusing on the client and project research in the first instance, and working closely with CEOs and Directors throughout the consultation process. Much of her work has focused on rebranding; messaging and tone of voice is one of her expertise, as is a distinctively unique writing style in my most of her creative projects. Her work is always driven by the versatility of language to galvanise image and to change perception, as it is by inspiring and being inspired by the wondrous diversity of people with whom paths she crosses cross!

Aphrodite has had a variety of high profile industry clients as a freelancer, and previously worked for a number of years as an Editor and Journalist for Prospects.ac.uk.

Aphrodite is also a professional painter.