HR & Management

The new special relationship: US and UK employees are unhappy at work

2 min read

09 September 2015

Both US and UK workers say they feel disengaged at work and may find new employers, citing lack of faith in leadership, progress and culture.

Employees on both sides of the Atlantic are unhappy at work, disenchanted by their company’s mission and demotivated by lack of feedback from their bosses.

This is the discouraging evidence discovered by Toronto and San Francisco-based employee recognition and rewards services provider Achievers in its new study called “The Greatness Gap: The State of Employee Disengagement”.

The survey asked respondents to identify their level of connection with core engagement factors, such as their company’s mission, their perceptions of and experience with recognition at work, and their workplace culture.

It found that employees were largely “disengaged at work” as 69 per cent of UK workers said they were not motivated by their company’s business mission and 41 per cent said they weren’t sure whether they would be in the same job in a year’s time as a result.

It found that 48 per cent of British employees were not happy at work, 42 per cent did not trust their company’s leadership and 60 per cent didn’t feel recognised for their progress at work. An additional 70 per cent said they did not know their company’s vision or understand its cultural values.

The results for the North American workforce survey showed that 58 per cent didn’t find their companies’ mission inspiring with a half expecting to be working for a new employer in a year’s time.

In the US, 51 per cent of employees said they were not happy at work, 45 per cent did not trust their company’s leadership and 57 per cent didn’t feel recognised for their progress at work. An additional 60 per cent said they did not know their company’s vision with 61 per cent unsure about their organisation’s cultural values.

“Employee engagement needs to be a top priority for executives in today’s changing workplace. Research proves that business success is driven by engaged employees –those employees that know why they get up every morning and go to work,” said David Brennan, general manager of Achievers. 

“The results from this study should incite organisations to take action and implement engagement strategies today that will help keep their employees tomorrow.”