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April 16, 2012

Edenred – Ipsos Barometer 2012

“Employee well-being and motivation”: Europe split between cautious optimism and real concern.

The sixth edition of the Edenred - Ipsos* Barometer on the “Well-being at work and employee motivation” covers six countries this year: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. In the context of crisis, this comparison of different European countries underlines major disparities that are both cultural and economic in nature.

Europe becoming polarised…

While overall, the survey underlines the relative stability of European employee satisfaction with their work situation, the results nonetheless reveal a Europe that is much more polarised than in 2008. The “work” value points to a high degree of variability from one country to another. 

German, Belgian and English workers declared themselves respectively 74%, 77% and 63% “satisfied with their work situation”. Only 20% of Germans and 25% of Belgians reported a reduction in their motivation at work. In contrast to this contentment, the economic situation and growing unemployment levels in Southern Europe are a source of major concern for employees. The “primary professional concern” of most employees in this region is “staying employed”: 39% of Italians and 55% of Spaniards stated this as their chief concern, compared with 29% and 37% in 2008. Consequently, for 40% of Spaniards and 35% of Italians, work mainly implies “security”. 

and displaying a trend for more positive attitudes in the civil service towards work

Europe’s civil servants state that they have a more positive relationship with their work and experience greater “pleasure at work”. For 32% of Belgians and 38% of Germans in this category, work is a “pleasure” and, for 16% of Spanish and 20% of English civil servants, work is even a “source of pride”. 

This relative optimism is also expressed when employees look towards the future, regardless of their geographic location. All are generally confident in the future of their administration: 85% in Germany, 78% in Belgium, 75% in the United Kingdom, 68% in Spain and 65% in Italy. The one exception is French civil servants, who display record pessimism, with less than half saying they are confident about the future of their employer. 

European workers more worried about their own future 

For European managers, “time devoted to work” also constitutes a major and growing concern: +16% among German executives, +9% among their French counterparts and +6% in the case of Spanish managers compared with 2008. Due to this growing unease, in the event of redundancy, only 43% of Belgians and 46% of Germans think they could quickly find a “comparable job”, and even 23% in both Italy and Spain. This trend is more prevalent in the 35-40 age group, which represents a period when the issue of employability begins to loom, most notably in Germany, Belgium and the United Kingdom. 

* About the Edenred – Ipsos Barometer 

Renowned for its leadership in the field of employee benefits, Edenred is also attentive to developments in their behaviour. Every year since 2007, Ipsos has conducted a survey of a large sample of 4,000 French workers. Its aim is to monitor their motivation levels, the state of their relationship with work and their well-being in the workplace. In 2012, the barometer was extended to cover five more European countries (Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom). In each of these countries, the online poll was carried out among 300 workers, from 1st to 17th February 2012. 

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