‘Career progression opportunities’ making staff unhappy

by L&D16 Aug 2016
It’s very important to ensure employees are enjoying themselves at work, particularly during L&D, said Shirley Cheong, Assistant Vice President, People Team at Changi Airport Group.

Cheong recently told L&D Professional that their company encourages learning through play and weaving fun into training activities, “sometimes in unexpected ways to create a positively surprising experience”.

“Puzzle-solving games, in-class mobile pop-quizzes, and competitions are some of the ways we have incorporated fun into training activities,” she said.

“For example, groups compete to build and launch paper aeroplanes in one leadership program, or draw a picture to tell a story in another.”

The proactive actions of Changi Airport Group are backed up by new research which found that there are many advantages of having satisfied employees.

Indeed, the specialist recruiter Robert Half found that 42% of Australian office workers see the biggest advantage of employee satisfaction as being more productivity.

Furthermore, 28% state the biggest advantage is that they are more motivated, while 15% say they are more likely to stay with their current employer.

Their research also found that 84% of Australian office workers say they are happy in their current job, with 34% saying they are “very happy”. Just over one in 10 (12%) employees indicate they are not happy.

David Jones, Senior Managing Director Robert Half Asia Pacific, said that while companies put customer satisfaction as a high priority on their business agenda, employee satisfaction is just as important to the overall function and success of any business.

“Happy employees are generally more productive and motivated, enduring they are motivated to serve customers both internally and externally above the parity line,” said Jones. 

“As a result companies improve their bottom line performance.”

When asked to list the top three things they like most about their current job, 74% of employeees say work-life balance, 58% mention their salary and bonus, and 57% refer to their colleagues and managers.

However, when asked to list the top three things they like least about their role, the top three were career progression opportunities (64%), business travel opportunities (55%) and non-financial benefits (52%).

“Unhappy workers are likely to pursue another job opportunity, increasing a company’s turnover which brings additional costs in terms of sourcing and replacing staff,” said Jones.

“Not only are happy employees more engaged in their work, they are generally loyal and stay with the company, meaning employee satisfaction can also have a direct effect on a company’s staff retention policy.

“Employee satisfaction doesn’t only impact employee retention; it also influences a company’s acquisition strategy. Satisfied employees are the perfect brand ambassadors, which can position the company as an employer of choice.

“Even though the survey confirms that the majority of Australian office workers are happy in their current job, employers shouldn’t become complacent in their employee engagement strategies.”

Meanwhile, a recent study found a clear link between satisfied workers and the financial success of an organisation.

"It could be stated that job satisfaction more strongly determines organisational performance than organisational performance determines job satisfaction," said Danica Bakotić of the University of Split, Croatia.