Labour force Sep 23, 2015

Employees in Bavaria: content, driven and motivated

Scientific studies show that nine out of ten employees in Germany are satisfied with their work. This puts Germany in the top third of European countries when it comes to employee satisfaction. But there are big differences not only within Europe, but also within Germany itself – and here, Bavaria is leading the way. This is excellent news for employers and investors in Bavaria, as happy staff are more driven and motivated.

Professions are as varied as the people who hold them, so each employee values different aspects in evaluating their work. Some workers are predominantly looking for opportunities to climb the career ladder, while others count on a reliable job or friendly colleagues. This makes it difficult to record the quality of work in all its variety. More recent studies have taken the approach of using the level of work satisfaction as a measure of the quality of the work – with outstanding results for the state of Bavaria in particular.

The Cologne Institute for Economic Research (IW) recently analysed the situation of employees in Bavaria, Germany and Europe. This included comprehensively evaluating the Labour Force Survey conducted by the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BiBB) and the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) in 2012. In Germany, 92.1 per cent of those surveyed said that they were satisfied or very satisfied with their work. The figure for Bavaria was even higher at 94.5 per cent. This continues the trend seen over recent years: work satisfaction among German employees has been at a consistently high level for many years. More than 20,000 employees were questioned for the survey. The IW was also able to confirm these generally excellent results by evaluating work satisfaction as part of the Socio-economic Panel (SOEP) and the European Working Condition Survey (EWCS). Both studies also showed a very high level of work satisfaction in Germany. The country is in the top third in the EWCS survey ranking, alongside the Netherlands, the UK, Ireland, Finland, Belgium, Denmark and Austria. According to the Bavarian Industry Association (VBW) work satisfaction is the most significant indicator of the quality of the work and working conditions. Consequently, the state of Bavaria offers investors and employers outstanding specialist staff who are particularly driven and motivated.

Satisfaction comes from having a voice and good managers

The various studies also provided further exciting findings about what is it that makes employees satisfied. The ability to make a difference was found to be particularly important. In summary, it can be said that the more opportunity employees have to influence target agreements, the choice of team colleagues, the implementation of their own ideas, key decisions and the work organisation, the more satisfied they are. The line manager also plays a vital role for many. When employees feel well-supported by their boss, their work satisfaction grows.

Surprisingly, the study results showed that working hours and stress levels are much less important for how work was evaluated. 85 per cent of employees in Germany who frequently work at high speed and suffer from stress are nonetheless satisfied with their work. Perhaps even more remarkable was the finding that the salary level is not the most important aspect for most people. 82 per cent of employees who are not satisfied with their pay were satisfied with their work despite this.

VBW position paper summarises studies

The position paper by the Bavarian Industry Association provides a more detailed summary of the results of the IW study and further exciting insights. There, you can read why work satisfaction is a good indicator of the quality of the work and why investors and employers can find particularly motivated and driven specialist staff in Bavaria.

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