A recent TinyPulse study has shown that it's somewhat ignorant to equate strong salaries and job stability with workplace happiness. This is a common assumption made in the world of finance, in particular. We tend to think of lucrative fields such as investment banking and financial management as home to happy employees, but this study revealed that is not necessarily the case.
These findings were discovered in a sub-study done by TinyPulse when they were surprised to see Finance & Insurance ranked so low in their 2015 Best Industry Ranking Report. They dug deeper to find out why by exploring the responses from over 3,000 employees at nearly 60 organizations in the finance and insurance industry.
A Few Stats
- Only 22% of employees in the finance sector indicated that they were truly happy at work.
- Barely 50% of employees are satisfied with their peers and colleagues.
- Only 20% of employees feel highly valued in their positions.
- Over 50% of employees are dissatisfied with the performance of their direct supervisor.
Transparency is Not the Issue
It turns out that employees and managers are very transparent with each other in the finance sector. People talk to each other, employees feel like they have clear goals, and no one's afraid to discuss numbers and organizational direction. Dennis Vogel, President & CEO of Citizens State Bank, mentioned how it actually isn’t too surprising that this industry is good with transparency. “Within our industry, we have a comfort level with numbers. Thus we are not afraid to share numbers and other information, which other industries may.” When it comes to his company in particular, Vogel says:
“Our organization believes that transparency starts at the top, where we believe nobody is better than anyone else in the organization. We believe in sharing our numbers (accounts, loan volume, origination, etc.) on a monthly basis for the entire company and each office, which encourages transparency and engagement.”
Employees Don't Feel Appreciated
It basically goes without saying that people like being told they're doing a good job. Being recognized for putting in extra effort goes a long way if you want your employees to continue putting in said extra effort. Here's a few employee comments from the study if you need further evidence:
“I do great work all year, very rarely do I even get told I'm doing a good job. Come review time all is forgotten and I'm only reminded about a few things I could have done better. Maybe it’s to make me grow, maybe it’s because you know it'll keep me working hard to try to please someone, either way its depressing.”
“I am not looking for a pat on the back every time I do something for a co-worker or a customer. But I think my hard work has been ignored. I have gone above and beyond in many ways and never recognized for it.”
“No recognition or acknowledgement for hard work, commitment and achievement. Extremely disappointing.”
It's All About Quality Leadership
The study revealed a lot of complaints from employees about inadequate leadership. They mentioned that their managers were poor communicators, that they didn't make time for their team, and that they didn't seem to care about their employees' personal development. This industry seems to be a prime example of the phrase “you don’t quit your job, you quit your boss.”
A big part of what TinyPulse does is provide detailed surveys to their clients for employees to fill out. The questions they list specifically related to leadership include the following:
- “On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate the performance of your direct supervisor?
- “Has a supervisor given you any recognition in the past two weeks?”
- “Do you feel comfortable providing upward feedback to your supervisor?”
- “Do you feel that your manager has clearly defined your roles and responsibilities and how they contribute to the success of the organization?”
The data from these surveys help TinyPulse to work with their clients in improving company culture. Since TinyPulse is in business to make companies better by making employees happier, they have a direct stake in employee satisfaction. Aside from surveys, they also offer their clients anonymous messaging systems, peer-to-peer recognition features, and other services in their cloud-based SAAS platform. They list HubSpot, GlaxoSmithKline, and Living Social among their clients.