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Janine Milne

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News: Happy people, happy workforce, happy times.

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You might think we’re all miserable right now, but apparently workers are happier and more committed to their jobs, despite the rocky economy, according to a new survey – sponsored by the government.

Or rather workers were happier back in 2011, which is the year covered by the latest Workplace Employment Relations Study (WERS).
 
This found that 20% of employees in 2011 were satisfied or very satisfied with their jobs compared to 2004, when the survey was last run. Levels of commitment had risen too. In particular, the number of employees who said they shared their organisation’s values rose to 65%, a 9% increase.
 
The good news continued in other areas of the survey, which investigated a number of work-related issues, such as employer-employee relations, diversity, training, pay, working hours and work-life balance. 
 
Managers are doing a better job of communicating with employees, suggested the report, thanks to more team briefings to keep staff up to speed with work changes (up from 60 to 66%). They were also giving their staff more autonomy. Employees said they had greater control over how they do their jobs (52%) and the order they carry out tasks (51%). 
 
Training appeared to have weathered widespread spending cuts well. The number of high-training workplaces, defined as organisations where at least 80% of experienced staff had some off-the-job training, had risen from 25% to 41%. 
 
Employment Relations Minister Jo Swinson said: “The results of the study show us in a new light just how workers and businesses are affected, how they are changing and what the workplace of the future might look like.”
 
Happiness will prevail! 
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