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Is an Optimistic Workforce a Happy Workforce

Posted by: ADP on 27 October 2015 in Human Capital Management

As summer draws to a close we have some good news to share. According to our new report, The Workforce View in Europe, we are beginning to see the encouraging return of optimism in the workplace. As the economy is bouncing back, our research shows that a very promising 77% of European employees now feel optimistic about the future of work.

However, levels of positivity are not completely consistent across Europe, with some countries only showing glimmers of workplace optimism. Uncertainty peaks in countries that have seen the greatest economic contraction. Italian employees are the least upbeat, with over half of them claiming the future still looks unpredictable (61%).

What does this welcome surge in optimism mean for you?

However, it must be heeded that the improving attitudes don’t necessarily equate to a satisfied and loyal workforce. As the job market becomes more mobile, people are more likely to seek out bigger and better opportunities. In fact, more than a third (34%) of employees across Europe are planning to change jobs within three years. Even a majority of German workers, who are the most-likely to see a long-term future with their employer, don’t think they will remain in their current role until the end of their career (60%).

As a result, talent retention and acquisition will be critical issues from a global Human Capital Management perspective. Losing local talent and knowledge remains a major issue for many countries. Employees in Spain (49%), Italy (47%) and Poland (39%) are most concerned about a talent drain to other countries. In a job market as robust and healthy as the current one, whilst it is important to retain talent, it is also vital to recruit. Half (51%) of European employees already see a lack of fresh talent entering organisations, while 47% feel there is a talent gap due to lack of recruitment.

Only half of European employees say their organisation is prepared to compete for business and talent internationally. In order to retain and acquire the best talent, Human Capital and Talent Management teams need to ensure this level of optimism translates directly into workplace satisfaction and not a desire to pursue other career options. They need to offer employees the chance to succeed.

How do I ensure my employees can succeed?

When asked what has impacted this this uplift in positivity, workers listed the main reasons as being;

  1. Increasing job security (38%)
  2. Growing career opportunities (27%)
  3. Having the right training and development to succeed (27%).

These factors are clearly important, but how can you embrace them across your organisation? Firstly, job security and career opportunities can be offered through regular appraisals and recognition of work. Secondly, a stagnant environment with no opportunities for promotion or development may lead to an employee seeking recognition elsewhere. Finally, whilst nearly 9 in 10 European employees see themselves as having the training to succeed in their roles, it must be recognised that learning and development is a lifelong process. Investment in training opportunities is central to maintaining competitiveness and building a satisfied workplace.

It is vital that ensure that your newly optimistic workforce becomes a truly happy one. By doing so, you can make certain you attract the best and brightest talent around to help your organisation achieve its goals.

For more insights, read The Workforce View in Europe  white paper.

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TAGS: Human Capital management Human resources Thought leadership

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