Only 3 out of 10 in the Baltics consider their job decent

Office DELFI / Kiril Čachovskij

Only one third of employees in the three Baltic states consider their current job to be decent, shows survey. Authors of the research aimed to define what do people think is „decent“ for their job at their workplace.

„We asked people what they consider to be a decent leader, a decent teamwork, if a job has to be meaningful and what does it take for employees to feel good working there. The results mostly show that people want respect, empowerment, flexibility and responsibility“, – said Jurgita Banytė, head of Human resources department at „If“ insurance company in Vilnius.

Only one third of employees in all three countries considered their job to meet the qualities they consider to be decent. Around 40% of respondents consider their job to not be decent enough and another 30% – not good at all. The worst situation is seen in Latvia (36%).

Almost half of respondents would leave their current workplace for a job that better represents qualities they consider to be decent. 48% would consider leaving or leave in Lithuania and 47% in Estonia, more than half – 55% would do so in Latvia.

Questions of salary

„When asked what could be the main reasons to leave their current positions, majority of employees would normally mention bigger salary, offered elsewhere, or impossible working conditions at the current workplace. In this case, we are talking more subtle, harder to notice nuances and people are still saying they would be thinking of leaving. These numbers show that „decency“ tends to be an important factor when choosing a job“, – commented Agnė Ambrazevičienė, expert of „KOG“ research company.

The main qualities for a job to be seen as normal vary among the three countries: Lithuanians call good microclimate (46%) and ability to grow as professionals (41%) the biggest priorities; Latvians – safety and stability (51%) as well as respectful managers (50%), while Estonians think that friendly colleagues (50%) and flexible working hours (49%) are the most important features of a normal job.

„We see similar distinctions between our offices in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Employees in different countries, even when working at the same company, tend to see different things as normal. For example, while having good and professional colleagues is important for „If“ employees in all three countries, Estonians were the ones stressing the importance of being friends with your peers the most“, – said J. Banytė.

The least normal things at work

When asked about the least acceptable aspects of their current job, most employees in all three countries mention their well-being; teamwork and work – life balance should also be largely improved. Estonians stressed the importance of improving leadership in their workplaces (30% mentioned leadership, 10% in Latvia, 19% – Lithuania).

Leadership is also the worst-evaluated current job feature in all three countries (6,6 out of 10). Meaningfulness was evaluated as the best attribute of current job in all the Baltic countries (7,5).

„IF“ implemented the pan-Baltic survey in order to find out what is seen as normal by the employees in the three countries. While asking that all the employees working in major cities, „IF“ has also held 6 focus groups in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia to discuss the same topics with it‘s own staff.

„IF“ has started a „Decent job“ campaign in order to find out and meet the expectations most employees have for their job.

How to keep people happy at their work place?

„We see that there is a need for a change in the way businesses look at engaging their employees. The „superhero“ who is constantly looking for challenges to overcome trend has already caused too much work-related stress and burn-outs among young and middle-aged people. We need to have a long-term healthy workplace strategy for keeping people happy, motivated and fullfilled“, – J. Banytė explained the reasoning behind creating the „Decent job“ concept.

Teamwork, well-being and meaningfulness are the three strongest points „IF“ employees see in their daily work. All of the three are valued 8 to 9 points out of 10. When asked what do they consider to be normal, most employees mentioned having the freedom and responsibility of making decisions, feeling heard on work-related issues, the „playing coaches“ in the role of managers, strong and united teams, helping each other out, trusting their colleagues, „hands on“ approach from HR departments and having a clear mission – „helping people“.

More than 1500 employees aged 18 to 60 living in Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn participated in the survey.

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