In a survey of over 2,000 British workers, 58% of British workers said they were proud of their profession. But 68% of those working in engineering said they were proud of their profession. Insurance professionals were the most proud, while construction and automotive were also above average. At the other end of the spectrum, those working in rail and accountancy were the least proud of their sector. (32% and 44% respectively)
In the sectors where employees felt least proud of their professions, staff generally spent less time at work than the national average, suggesting that employers need to make staff feel proud of their profession or risk creating a disillusioned workforce.
Owen Goodhead, managing director of Randstad CPE, explained: “In order to attract and retain a talented, dedicated workforce, employers need to make their staff feel proud of what they do. No one wants to go to work each day without feeling proud of their careers – and the research proves that employees who fall into this category often spend less time each week at work. Pride in your profession isn’t just good for employees – it’s good for business.”
Less proud – less committed?
In most of the sectors where the level of professional pride was below the national average, employees spent fewer hours at work. For instance, only 52% of those working in aviation felt proud of their profession, and their working hours of just 35 hours and 30 minutes per week are below the weekly average. By contrast, 61% of social workers feel proud of their work, and their working hours of 38 hours and 52 minutes are significantly higher than the UK average.
Owen Goodhead explains: “A sense of pride in the workplace doesn’t automatically mean that employees are more committed to their jobs, but a lack of it presents a very real, organisational risk. When employees are less engaged with their profession, they are less likely to go above and beyond the minimum requirement in terms of their weekly hours.
“But these trends do not always ring true. Working hours in sectors such as property, construction and rail may be more affected by industry deadlines than happiness with your profession. For instance, those working in construction and property may have seen their hours shorten as a result of reduced output during the recession, while those working in rail may be working around the clock in order to complete high-profile projects such as Crossrail.”
Following the successful completion of the Olympic Park, Randstad recorded a significant upswing in employee motivation in the construction sector. The timely completion of such a high-profile project was widely reported as a great British success story, resulting in a surge in employee pride. The legacy of London 2012 has also given the UK economy a £10bn boost, according to Government reports.
Owen Goodhead explains: “The Olympic Village, the largest urban park in Europe, has regenerated a major area of London, creating a lasting legacy of Britain’s architectural capabilities on the world stage. Those who worked hard to deliver the project are feeling justifiably proud of their achievements and their sectors as a result.
“By comparison, ongoing challenges surrounding proposals for the HS2 project have taken the shine off a similar reaction taking place in the rail sector. Discussions by politicians and the general public about the importance and feasibility of the project are clearly having a negative effect on those working in the sector. Those working in the rail sector seem to be suffering from an ‘image problem’ which is more dominated by public opinion than the reality of working in the sector itself.
“But the same image problem may also exist in reverse. Looking at the results, it’s interesting to see that media professionals are among the most proud of all professions in the UK. Despite a large scale public inquiry into professional conduct in the sector, 81% of media professionals feel proud of their career choice.”
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NOTES TO EDITORS
Randstad CPE is part of the Randstad group, one of the leading recruitment & HR services providers in the world with a top five position in the UK and a top three position in fifteen countries including the US, France and Germany.
In the UK, Randstad’s business lines serve the public and private sectors across Accounting and Financial services; Business Support; Construction, Property and Engineering;
At the end of 2012, Randstad had 1,750 corporate employees in the UK, working in 203 locations. UK revenue in 2012 was €799 million. Randstad Holding nv was founded in 1960 and is headquartered in Diemen, the Netherlands and listed on the NYSE Euronext Amsterdam. For more information see http://www.randstad.co.uk/
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