British workers ‘most disaffected in Europe’

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Britain’s workers are more disengaged than their counterparts elsewhere in western Europe, according to new research from global management consultancy firm the Hay Group.

The poll found more than half of employees polled felt disaffected from their role and the organisation they worked for, while nearly one-quarter of staff were considered ineffective by bosses.

“Disengaged employees can have a detrimental effect on a business’ bottom line,” said Hay Group director Graeme Yell. “Companies must act to safeguard and maximise engagement levels among their staff or risk suffering financially.”

Over three-quarters of executive participants viewed employee disengagement as a major threat to the success of their business and 52 per cent stated that the issue is discussed regularly at management level – as opposed to 41 per cent across Europe.

Last week, a study published by Mercer showed that its indicator of communication levels between bosses and staff fell by 17 points between 2006 and this year.

Posted by Cameron Thomson

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3 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. It’s hardly surprising that British workers are more disengaged than elsewhere in western Europe. National employment law and practices provide less security for individual employees; and a series of deep recessions have all hammered home the message “look after number 1 – nobody else [at work] will look after you”.

    Employers shouldn’t try to fight this mindset, they should adapt their engagement practices to suit.

    Instead of selling longterm engagement with their organisations to cynical employees, for example, employers should use necessary work to build up individuals’ employability and job progression potential.

  2. With the disastrous job cuts and attacks on welfare benefits by the present government it is hardly surprising that disengagement and disaffection among workers has risen markedly. This is certainly the case at Southwark PCT (NHS)where I work. The PCT has recently been abolished by this government and it is estimated nationally that this will lead to at least the loss of 25,000 jobs. I can’t imagine a greater de-motivator than the knowledge that you no longer have a job to go to not to metnion the insecurity of temporary contracts. If you add to that the routinised boredom and stress of work and bad-tempered managers responding to market pressures you might have some idea of where workers’ disillusionment comes from. Low wages and the effect this has on life outside work add to the pressures.

    I don’t know what reasons people gave to the Hay Group for their disaffection and disengagement at work but I suggest two possible remedies.

    1. Job security with better pay and working conditions.
    2. Career changes to alleviate boredom.

    Ian Townson

  3. Most of the jobs created by the pcts were no-jobs. Allegedly, racism, bullying and fraud were rampant. Most of the Directors are running away now to find solace in other jobs- they know the dirt that they have left behind. With a weak Union the workers are doomed. I think the Government has done the right thing. Purge the place.

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