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Jamie Lawrence

Wagestream

Insights Director

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News: Renewed optimism in the workplace?

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Employees are feeling more empowered to do their jobs than at any other time during 2012, according to new research.

Well over half (58.6 percent) of UK workers are proud to work for their current organisation, up on the 41.7 percent reported in summer 2012. Over three quarters (76.1 percent) believe their manager gives them the support and autonomy they need to work to the best of their ability, up from 65 percent in September 2012.

The research, conducted by hyphen, also found that workplace pride was felt most acutely among women and those aged 25 – 34. Sixty percent of women felt proud to work in their organisation compared to 48.5 percent in September 2012. More than seven out of 10 (70.9 percent) of workers aged 25 – 34 felt a sense of pride, up from 46.8 percent towards the end of last year.

The most significant increase in workplace pride was felt among sales, media and marketing teams – 78.6 percent of workers in these teams are proud to work where they do, up from 36.8 percent last summer.

Close to 91 percent of respondents believe their role contributes to their organisation’s success, up from 86.8 percent in September 2012. Over three quarters (77.9 percent) believe their organisation seeks their opinion and listens and respects their views, up from 71.3 percent in September 2012.

It’s hard to track down a reason for these shifts – some people just feel more optimistic as a new year begins so that might be part of the reason. It’s dangerous to say that engagement has definitely increased because it differs so widely between company and company, place to place, industry to industry, and HR managers should be wary of using any statistics as a measure of engagement in their own company. They need to measure engagement internally and then take action to make improvements. This needs to be an ongoing process.

Still, if employees really are feeling more positive then that can only be a good thing.

Zain Wadee, managing director at hyphen, said: “Companies are realising that in order to retain and attract the best employees it is important that their workforce has a sense of pride in their organisation. Engaging workers is now becoming an integral part of employment and retention strategies; not least to ensure workers are happy but also to help them perform to the best of their ability.

“Internal communications has a major part to play in any organisation and is a tool that, when used effectively, can encourage debate, share best practise and integrate all levels of a company. Good management can also have a significant impact on workplace pride with a balance of autonomy and direction from strong leadership feeding down positively to employees.

“With large organisations recently marking a change in their corporate culture, it is becoming ever more apparent that employee engagement is a growing priority for organisations’ future success.”

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Jamie Lawrence

Insights Director

Read more from Jamie Lawrence
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