Fulfilment at work 2014

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Britain has a problem with professional fulfilment.  

Almost 10 million British employees say they are not happy with their current employer.  

In a survey carried out by Randstad in the third quarter of 2013, when asked "how satisfied are you with your current employer?" 33% said they were not satisfied with their current employer.  With the number of people in work within the UK now standing at 29.84 million, the research suggests that, across the country, 9.85 million employees are professionally unfulfilled.

Not only that, but the UK's workers are less professionally fulfilled than their peers internationally. With only 67% of British workers satisfied with their current employer, the UK scores are lower than those across Britain’s key competitors in the EU: France and Germany – as well as The Netherlands and Belgium.

“British workers are less satisfied than employees in key competitor countries”

This snapshot is not a one-off phenomenon – job satisfaction is consistently lower in the UK than in our European peers.  In a set of 13 similar quarterly surveys carried out over the course of three years, tracking job satisfaction levels internationally, Randstad has interviewed approximately 26,000 employees from the UK as well as Britain’s peers in Europe.

The UK had the lowest scores against its key Euro peer group for job satisfaction for 9 of the 13 quarters analysed.   

Furthermore, Britain is not making progress. 

In Q3 2010, 66% of UK employees said they were satisfied but, having dipped to 57% in Q1 2011 and risen briefly to 72% in Q2 2012, Britain is now back down to 67%.

Additional international research has demonstrated that this was not simply due to the differences between the Anglo-Saxon economic model and the Rhine Capitalism model epitomised by the German economy – the UK lags behind the rest of the Anglosphere too.  

The Randstad research shows that in 70% of workers in Australia are currently satisfied with their employer, while 73% are satisfied in New Zealand.  In the US, it’s slightly higher at 74%: but UK lags even further behind Canada, where 77% are satisfied with their employer.  

Once again, this represents a consistent trend over time.  In the last 11 quarterly surveys, polling approximately 18,000 workers, Britain’s employees have been the least satisfied workers nine times.