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April 2024

Employee satisfaction - and how executive search can help

An opinion piece by Sorina Faier of Elite Searchers  - AGILIUM WORLDWIDE's member firm in Romania

According to recent studies, the countries with the happiest employees are the Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Canada, Iceland, Switzerland, Sweden, Australia and New Zealand. These countries stand out for their effective work-life balance programmes, giving employees the opportunity to work in flexible environments and organise their time according to their needs and preferences. Their organisational cultures are also characterised by a high level of transparency, collaboration and recognition of individual merit.

On the other hand, some countries face a lack of happiness among employees, driven by factors such as stressful working environments, not enough recognition for their contributions and too little flexibility in working hours. Studies show that some of the unhappiest countries in this respect are Bulgaria, Romania and Greece. Employees in these countries complain of high levels of stress, low pay and lack of real opportunities for advancement within the organisation.

Employee happiness is crucial to a company's success. Happy employees are more productive, more motivated and less likely to be absent or leave their jobs. Companies must therefore ensure that they provide a healthy and stimulating work environment for their employees.

The situation in Romania is alarming and raises many questions about the reasons behind this phenomenon and what could be done to improve employee satisfaction and comfort in our country.

One of the main factors contributing to the unhappiness of Romanian employees is the poor working conditions. Many companies do not invest enough in modern and safe work equipment, which leads to extra stress and an increased risk of accidents at work. In addition, there is a tendency to "overwork" employees, who are often forced to work long hours or take on a large amount of responsibility without being properly rewarded. These working conditions can lead to reduced productivity, burnout and chronic stress that seriously affect the physical and mental health of employees.

Another important factor in determining job satisfaction is the relationship with superiors and organisational culture. Many employees complain about abusive behaviour or lack of communication from their bosses, which indicates a toxic and demotivating work climate. Also, low levels of commitment and recognition of employees' efforts can significantly affect their morale and confidence in their future career.

Salary levels are another factor contributing to the unhappiness of Romanian employees. Many employees complain of unsatisfactory incomes in relation to the workload and cost of living in Romania. Low wages often do not reflect employees' skills and experience, leading to frustration and the development of a sense of unfairness and financial discomfort.

In addition, the lack of career prospects and professional development opportunities is another important reason why Romanian employees feel unhappy at work. Many complain about the lack of continuous training and opportunities for advancement within their companies, which leads to stagnation and loss of motivation to get involved in new projects and activities.

To improve the satisfaction of Romanian employees, profound changes are needed in the way they are treated and supported at work. Companies need to invest more in safe and comfortable working conditions, in training and professional development programmes, and in mechanisms to recognise employees' performance and efforts. It is also important that employees are involved in the decision-making process and are given the opportunity to express their opinions and suggestions.

Employees feel happier in countries where there are clear policies and laws to protect employees against arbitrary dismissal and discrimination in the workplace. On the other hand, in countries where there is a high level of economic and political instability, such as Venezuela or Zimbabwe, employees experience lower levels of happiness due to uncertainty about job security and the possibility of securing a decent living for themselves and their families.

Countries with the happiest employees usually have high wages, access to quality healthcare, paid leave and a positive organisational culture. These countries also often offer opportunities for professional and personal development, have a good work-life balance, and promote diversity and inclusion.

Executive search can play a crucial role in finding the happiest employees for a company. By utilizing executive search firms, companies can ensure they are hiring candidates who not only possess the necessary skills and experience but also align with the company's culture and values. This alignment is key to fostering employee happiness and satisfaction.

Executive search firms have the expertise and resources to conduct thorough assessments of candidates to determine their fit for a specific role and organization. They can delve into a candidate's background, qualifications, personality traits, and work style to ensure they are the right fit for the company's culture. This thorough vetting process can help to identify candidates who are more likely to thrive in the company's environment, leading to higher levels of engagement, productivity, and ultimately, happiness.

By partnering with an executive search firm, companies can tap into a diverse pool of top talent and identify candidates who possess not only the necessary skills but also the right mind-set and attitude. This targeted approach can result in more successful hires and ultimately contribute to a more positive and fulfilling work environment for all employees.

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