Overworked managers and under-supported staff cast a shadow over workforce happiness, says the professional body for HR and people development CIPD.
The CIPD has launched the UK Working Lives survey which seeks to establish how good job quality is in the UK.
It looks at seven dimensions of job quality, gathered from widespread research, and measures how important each one is to people in work.
CIPD said that by combining previous research on the factors that affect job quality with a 6,000 sample survey, representative of the whole UK workforce, the results show that while overall headline satisfaction with work and jobs is reasonable, there are significant numbers who feel differently.
The survey finds that two thirds of workers (64 percent) say they are satisfied with their job, with just one in five (18 percent) dissatisfied.
Almost half of the surveyed workers (45 percent) think that their pay is ‘appropriate’ for what they do, but 36 percent do not.
As well as this, amongst those in low-skilled jobs, more than a third (37 percent) say they have not received any training over the last year.
The CIPD has recommended a number of solutions in order to help improve job quality. It said employers should communicate clear pathways for progression, monitor workloads and deadlines to ensure people aren’t feeling under excessive pressure at work, and conduct a stress audit to reduce or eliminate the sources of stress at work.
The CIPD said the government should introduce mid-life career MOTs, promote lifelong learning and provide funding for better support for small firms.
Jonny Gifford, senior adviser for organisational behaviour at the CIPD, said: “In terms of overall solutions, the message is clear: Healthy workers are happy and productive workers. If there’s one ultimate aim in job quality it should be to improve the wellbeing of our workers.
“We also need to look closely at the main factors that facilitate or get in the way of better quality jobs. More extensive training and development must be part of the solution, so workers can develop in their careers and feel more fulfilled in their work. There are also many things employers can do that make a real difference – in particular, fostering better workplace relationships and giving employees voice and choice on aspects of their working lives.”