Are workers supported, engaged and equipped to do their jobs?
In the first of a three-part series, we take a deeper dive into the findings of IOSH’s recent survey into how people are feeling at work. This week, we look at whether workers feel supported, engaged, and equipped to do their jobs.
What the results told us
The survey respondents were given a series of statements and asked which ones applied to them. The following results give the percentage of respondents who said the statements did apply to them.
- 87% - I understand the work activities I’m asked to do and why I’m doing them
- 56% - I feel confident that my job provides me with the knowledge, skills, and expertise that could be used elsewhere – either in this or another organisation
- 45% - With the help of my employer, I have acquired (or am acquiring) the knowledge, skills and expertise I need to thrive
- 72% - When I am at work, I am focused on the activities I have to do and carry them out with enthusiasm and commitment
- 59% - Physically and psychologically, I have the capacity and the motivation to do my job to the best of my ability most of the time
- 49% - While my work activities may vary, I am kept informed about any changes to them in good time
- 54% - I feel that my work gives me purpose. In other words, I am able to see that the outcomes of my work make a positive difference, even if this happens indirectly
Managers and leaders
- 72% - Employees understand the way that their roles relate to the overall vision and mission of the organisation and feel that they’re making a positive contribution to it
- 52% - Employees have a clear or growing sense of identity and purpose
Our Thought Leadership Manager Dr Chris Davis gives his view on the results.
Subjective survey responses should always be treated with a degree of caution because they inevitably give a snapshot of how a certain person feels at a specific moment in time.
Nevertheless, the responses seem to suggest that many workers feel underwhelmed by their experiences at work. While the vast majority of respondents felt confident about how to do their job, far fewer workers appear to feel that their employers are invested in their broad development. This is a concern, especially given the number of workers globally moving between professions and requiring transferrable skills.
Again, it is important to emphasise that the responses are not an objective portrayal of what is actually happening within organisations – in other words, employers could be doing more than workers are seeing – but that is the way workers perceive it, and employers should be receptive to this.
Overall, the responses indicate that workers feel their employers could do more to enhance their overall working experience. Of course, this would be a win-win: healthier, engaged, and fulfilled workers are more likely to be productive, safe, and committed workers.
What employers can do
As part of its Catch the Wave drive, IOSH has developed a series of bite-sized e-learning courses.
Among these is the ‘People’ course, which is designed to help people understand their roles and responsibilities so that accountability for safety and health is clear.
Find out more about this and other courses on our dedicated webpage here.
You can read our news release on the worker survey here.
About the survey:
In October 2022, IOSH commissioned BF Media to survey workers, line managers and senior leaders on how people were feeling at work. Responses were received from 2,152 workers and 992 managers (714 line managers and 278 senior leaders), all of whom were based in the UK and worked for companies with five or more employees.