Study: Low Morale in Public Sector Workers

London — Jan. 3

Hays, a recruitment firm, revealed research showing that disillusioned public sector workers appear to have hit a new morale low going into 2012.

The research showed that more than half (52 percent) of job seekers said they would be prepared to sacrifice their pension for a career in the private sector, and nearly two-thirds of workers consider the public sector a worse place to work following the recession.

The preliminary findings of the Hays Career Outlook Survey show that although those working in the public sector are fiercely defensive of their pensions, the pull of the private sector and its perceived higher job security is attractive to job seekers.

Other early findings from the research show 84 percent of public sector employers are concerned that they will struggle to keep skilled workers, and almost half (46 percent) say they will be unable to attract the skilled people needed for the 12 months ahead. Eighty percent believe this will have an impact on the delivery of public services.

Almost two-thirds (60 percent) of public sector workers said the public sector is a worse place to work compared to before the recession, compared to only 40 percent in the private sector. More than three-quarters (76 percent) of public sector employers believe the sector is more stressful now than it was a year ago.

Heading into 2012, both sectors report difficult working conditions, with employers describing morale as “pressured” (45 percent of public sector employers; 46 percent in the private), and results from the survey show that their employees agree.

Public-sector employers lay the blame at the government’s door, while their private-sector counterparts blame the global economy. Early data indicates a lack of career progression in both sectors is also causing a problem for staff.

The findings are based on an online survey of more than 955 employers and 1,380 employees in both the public and private sectors.

Source: Hays PLC