HomeRail NewsSatisfaction guaranteed?

Satisfaction guaranteed?

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With around 175,000 people currently employed by rail contractors, train companies and suppliers, the rail industry is growing and is set to become one of the UK’s main employers.

Staff satisfaction throughout most of the industry is high – check out the reports on the RailStaff Awards in this issue – but it needs to be nurtured.

The rail industry is growing, a phenomena looks set to continue. Research by Greengauge 21 estimates that 89,000 design, construction and operations jobs will be created over the entire life of HS2 alone. For an industry that fully recognises a future shortfall in qualified and experienced engineers, the need to increase job satisfaction to better attract and retain skills is essential.

‘How I became…’

A new campaign launched by Randstad UK aims to achieve just that. Launching the new campaign, Mark Bull, chief executive of Randstad UK, said, ‘We are issuing a rallying call to employers to join us in action to address the state of fulfilment at work in the UK. Our campaign for employees ‘How I Became’ is designed to help and inspire everyone to be more fulfilled.’

In the wider industrial world the UK is lagging behind in delivering job satisfaction to its employees, according to new research from Ranstad. For its Fulfilment@Work report Randstad interviewed around 45,000 employees in the UK, Europe and English-speaking countries around the world.

Analysing satisfaction over a three-year period, Randstad found that employees in the UK had the lowest scores in nine out of the past 13 quarters. In the third quarter of this year, just 67 per cent of British employees said they were satisfied with their current employer.

Hiring more women

The report recommends increasing job variety for workers as well as hiring more women, younger and older people. High age profile people are statistically more fulfilled in their work life.

‘Our report is designed to provoke debate but we have identified a number of practical solutions to these issues, and give employers an outline of what needs to change going forward to increase the professional fulfilment of their workforce,’ says Mark Bull.

The report looked at the direct impact low levels of job satisfaction can have on a company’s figures. It suggests that the average cost of an absence per employee is £975 a year. Each year there are around 160 million working days lost because of absence, amounting to £14 billion.

Speaking at the launch of the Fulfilment@Work campaign, author and philosopher Alain de Botton highlighted the need for employees to rediscover pride in their place of work.

As a foreword to the study, De Botton wrote: ‘One of the great sources of satisfaction in work is the feeling that we are making a difference to people’s lives, that we have, at the end of the working day, somehow left the planet slightly healthier, tidier, saner than it was at the beginning.’

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