Studying the work environment – a totaljobs survey
Understanding the ambitions, needs and conflicts of the workplace is the keystone of building a credible and proactive HR policy. It means that your company can offer jobs that people want to apply for while also keeping current employees happy.
The totaljobs team have undertaken a survey to identify the pressures and preferences of the workplace, from the benefits most wanted by jobseekers to concerns over the day-to-day challenges of a professional environment. Here are the results…
The survey found that the pressure of a large workload, and battling to achieve that heralded work/life balance, is by far the most universal concern for 50% of the workforce.
But the results also revealed many interesting demographic differences amongst men and women in the workplace. For example, micromanagement is more of an issue for men, with 29% identifying it as a problem in their workplace, compared to just 17% of women.
For those earning less than £10,000, the challenges they face in the workplace can be more personal. In fact nearly half of the people surveyed have grievances about favouritism and others being promoted ahead of them, whilst 28% have encountered bullying.
However, those on higher incomes have their own set of problems. Water cooler rivalries and secret crushes amongst colleagues are a significant challenge to those earning over £40,000 – with 32% citing inter-office relationships as a concern. Furthermore, the perils of poor performance seemingly increase in roles that are higher paid – 45% of people in this wage bracket have seen colleagues fired due to an inability to achieve results.
Significantly, our questioning of annual pay increases has revealed there’s still a distinct gap between the number of women seeing their wages increase compared to those of men. A remarkable 62% of women didn’t receive any improvement in their pay in the past year, compared to 45% of men – a difference of 17% that speaks volumes about the continuing gender imbalance in highly paid roles across many sectors.
Considering the additional benefits of a role when applying for jobs is a difficult exercise in balancing priorities, and your decision to take the job can be impacted by many factors. The survey found that the more people earned and the more secure they became, the less concerned they were about training and career management.
Additionally, according to the survey results, the distance between home and work has become less important as costly commuting becomes more affordable.
However, the location of the job does seem to have an impact on a jobseeker’s expectations of additional workplace benefits. Specifically, the professionals of London seem to have far broader expectations of workplace benefits than the rest of the country, with lifestyle elements such as gym membership, season ticket loans and free food and drink being more commonly sought by the capital’s jobseekers.
What can we learn from this?
Being able to identify and understand these motivations and concerns is an incredibly valuable skill when communicating within and on the behalf of any organisation. Increasingly, companies are recognising the importance of investing in an engaged and proactive approach to HR.
Bringing the future happiness of employees to the core of your aims and values, and fostering an environment to build the so-called ‘happiness advantage’, can be a truly positive step for businesses towards becoming both more personable and more productive.