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Two out of three workers happy in jobs

15 December 2006


Two out of three workers happy in jobs – bosses rated highly

A new international workplace survey has found that the overwhelming majority of New Zealand’s employees are happy in their work, while they also believe that their bosses are doing a good job.

The survey by leading recruitment agency, Kelly Services, found that 64% of New Zealand’s workers were either happy or very happy with their current position, a decline from 79% when the same question was asked in 2002.

The Kelly Global Workforce Index sought the views of approximately 70,000 people in 28 countries including more than 1,200 in New Zealand.

The survey found that New Zealand ranked 13th globally for employee happiness. The most contented employees in the global study were in Denmark, Mexico and Sweden and the least happy in Hungary, Russia and Turkey.

Those New Zealanders most happy in their jobs were in Education (71%), Government and IT (68%), Business Services (66%), and Utilities (65%). New Zealanders least happy in their jobs were in Transport (21%), Travel (20%), Financial Services (19%) and Manufacturing (18%).

New Zealand bosses received rare praise from their employees. Asked to score their bosses out of 10, the average score was 7.1, ranking New Zealand’s bosses 4th worldwide and the best in the Asia Pacific region.

“The result suggests that many organisations in New Zealand are doing well at developing workplace practices that keep their employees engaged and motivated”, Kelly Services Sales & Operations Director, Steve Kennedy said.

“It’s important in the current tight labour market that employers look after their employees. Even a simple thing like providing employees with feedback can make all the difference to an employee/employer relationship.”

“Unfortunately a third of New Zealand bosses rarely or never reward their staff. It’s that type of behaviour that will impact on their bottom line.”

“Managers are often so busy they overlook their staff but without their staff, they don’t have a business.”

Employers were rated on four attributes – communication, leadership, team spirit and delegation skills. Workers felt that bosses were best at delegating effectively and weakest when it comes to leadership and communication.

“The best employers provide people with interesting and challenging work, opportunities to learn and develop their own skills.”

On the question of who makes the best bosses – men or women – the vast majority (69%) said it makes no difference.

“Workers tell us they want to work in an environment with good morale, stimulating work, a degree of autonomy, and receive feedback from their bosses.” Steve Kennedy said.


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