Employee Engagement

New research from Barclays has found that happiness in your job comes from being in the right environment

The new research, launched ahead of a Barclays debate on youth employability today (April 15) – supplementing their wider commitment to helping young people increase their employability and find jobs – found the thing most likely (at 26%) to make people happy in their job was getting on well with colleagues. This was closely followed by having a good work-life balance (at 24%).

The research also showed that after the atmosphere of a workplace, it is how valuable or important the work we do is that matters. One in five (20%) people felt that doing something they believe in makes them happy, while the same amount felt they were happy because what they did was useful.

The top ten factors that make people happy at work are:

1. I get on well with my colleagues (26%)

2. I have a good work life balance (24%)

3. It’s something I believe in (21%)

4. I think what I do is useful (20%) and I get to use my brain (20%)

5. There is a good atmosphere in the office (17%)

6. I am financially well rewarded (15.95%)

7. I have flexible working conditions (15.80%)

8. I feel recognised and appreciated (15%)

9. I am doing something challenging (14%)

10. I have a lot of responsibility (13%)

Founder of Lady Geek and Barclays debate panellist, Belinda Parmar commented: “When I first started my degree in languages, I had a romantic and unrealistic vision of what career I would have after– the reality was very different where I struggled to get a job. Had I thought earlier about the job options open to me, I would not have studied languages. I wanted to take part in Barclays debate to encourage more young people to think not only about doing “what they love” but what will be in demand and a route to a fulfilling successful career.”

Kirstie Mackey, Head of LifeSkills created with Barclays, said: “It’s interesting to see that such a broad range of factors make people happy at work. It’s also telling that environmental factors are so important. This suggests that although the industry will always be an important consideration for young people in choosing a career, they need to be thinking in broader terms about the work environment that they think will suit them. It’s also vital that businesses recognise what it is that employees are looking for, so that they can create a happy, engaged workforce.”

Barclays will be hosting a debate about how best to tackle youth unemployment on Wednesday, 15th April at the Royal Institute. The panel will be debating the proposition: ‘Do what you love is a dangerous modern myth’ including discussion around how careers advice in schools affects children’s career prospects. The debate will feature arguments from businesswoman Belinda Parmar, journalist Toby Young, co-founder of Do What You Love, Beth Kempton and young entrepreneur of Supa Tuck, Bejay Mulenga.

Barclays commitment to support young people gain the skills they need to move into the world of work is demonstrated through LifeSkills created with Barclays, a free education and work experience programme. Over 1.1 million young people have participated in LifeSkills since it was launched in March 2013. The bank has also recently announced 800 new apprenticeship placements throughout the business, to join 2000 apprentices already hired, and the first pilot of the Trailblazer higher apprenticeship, the latter allows young people to achieve a level six apprenticeship, equivalent to an undergraduate university degree. Five young people from within Barclays and five from outside the business started on the scheme in February following an initial training programme..

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