Mid-Career Workers Least Happy

May 10, 2011 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – A survey of almost 4,000 employees in larger companies in 14 countries worldwide found that the oldest and youngest workers are the happiest.

According to Lumesse, previously StepStone Solutions, employees starting work and nearing retirement consistently reported higher levels of workplace satisfaction than their stressed-out, mid-career colleagues. Lumesse also found differences in pay raises, training opportunities and job satisfaction between men and women are still common.  

The Lumesse ‘Inspiring Talent’ survey shows that issues remain in the way many employers use the talents of their staff. Training, performance reviews and workplace trust remain an issue with only half of employees reporting that they have an effective appraisal process and only one-third saying that good training is regularly available. Less than one in five employees said they would always be rewarded for taking extra responsibility or working harder.   

More men (10%) than women (8%) report a large pay increase (over 20%) since 2008. Almost 40% of older workers (56 – 60) believe they will be recognized and rewarded if they work harder or take extra responsibility; only 19% of Gen Y (18 – 25) agree.   

Regionally, the survey found wide variations in attitudes across the 14 surveyed countries. U.S. staff are most upbeat about their companies’ success. The happiest employees are in the Nordic countries, with over 80% saying they enjoyed going to work; the least happy in Hong Kong, with only half claiming to be happy.   

The UK also did not fare well, being second last in the happiness stakes. When it comes to loyalty 57% of French employees plan to stay with their employers ‘forever’ – at the other end of the loyalty scale, the UK and Netherlands (24%) were beaten only by Singapore, in last place for long-term loyalty at just 17%.   

The full report, Inspiring Talent 2011, will be available from Lumesse later in June 2011.