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CIPD Good Work Index 2023

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The CIPD have released their latestGood Work Index, a report based on insights from more than 5,000 workers in the UK which provides an annual snapshot of the state of good work in the UK, focusing on seven dimensions of job quality. 

These seven dimensions are as follows: 

  • Pay and benefits

  • Contracts 

  • Work-life balance  

  • Job design and the nature of work 

  • Relationships at work 

  • Employee voice 

  • Health and wellbeing 

This comprehensive overview gives insight to drive improvement to working lives in the UK, with the 2023 release revealing a number of key areas in which job quality has fallen in recent years, with detrimental effect upon both individual workers and the economy.

What are the key takeaways from the report? 

  • While the survey found most people find their work satisfying, as many as 6-9 million workers are experiencing poor quality work in some major areas of their work, with no significant improvement in the quality of the job over the past four years.

  • Workers today are less enthused about work versus those surveyed in 2019, as well as being less likely to consider their work useful.

  • These same workers also commented that they are likely to see their work as purely transactional and are there simply for the financial benefit.

  • Employees are less likely to go above and beyond their remit to help their employer, falling from 57% in 2019 to 51% in 2023.

  • 45% of public sector workers versus 32% of private sector workers feel their pay doesn’t reflect the responsibilities of their role.

  • As we see the continued effect on the market due to the cost-of-living crisis, increased pay and benefits are the key drivers behind job moves (cited as the reason for 34% of moves). Other reasons include better job satisfaction (27%), a better work-life balance (23%) and wanting to do a different type of work entirely (22%)

Jake Young, Research Associate from the CIPD commented, "Despite the upheaval of recent years, most UK workers remain broadly positive about their jobs. However, there’s a mixed experience of job quality, especially between private sector and public sector roles. Not all jobs can be transformed, but significant improvements in areas such as training, development, and people management should be possible."

What are the recommendations from the report for employers?

The CIPD highlights three key areas which the Government and employers must address as a priority in order to support better working lives in the UK.

  1. A renewed policy focus on ‘good work’ and improving job quality

  2. The gap between the quality of working life in the public sector versus the private sector must be narrowed to address current challenges and attract future workers

  3. Work must become more flexible and more attractive if there is to be a sustainable solution to major labour supply challenges.

  4. Improve the quality of careers information and guidance to help workers at all stages make better-informed choices on training, qualifications and careers.

  5. Employers should focus on improving access to flexible working options and financial wellbeing support, and identifying and managing skills mismatches to engage, satisfy and develop staff.

By taking these actions to improve job quality in the UK, employers, and the Government, can help to create a more productive, fairer, and more sustainable economy.

To read the full report visit Good Work Index | Survey reports | CIPD