Status: 21/09/2023, 17:32 p.m.
The mood among Germany's workers is obviously not the best. (Symbolic image) © Annette Riedl/dpa/Illustration
The importance of diligence and diligence has been instilled in Germans for generations. However, a survey now feeds the suspicion that identification with work is declining.
Hanover – The mood among Germany's employees is obviously not the best: According to a survey, the attachment to the profession has decreased. In the annual occupational study published on Thursday by the insurer HDI, only 47 percent said that the job meant a lot to them. A year ago, the figure was 58 percent.
Another question was the importance of finances. Only 41 percent answered that the profession meant more to them than earning money, ten percentage points less than in 2022. Many companies advertise vacancies as an "exciting challenge".
However, according to the HDI, the representative survey provides evidence to suggest that many employees do not find their work particularly exciting. In May and June, the polling institute Yougov surveyed 3,864 employees aged 15 and over in all sixteen federal states on behalf of the HDI.
The consequences of the shortage of skilled workers are being felt
The pollsters did not ask about the reasons for the obviously growing dissatisfaction, but about the consequences of the shortage of skilled workers on the mood of the workforce: Almost sixty percent said that the effects were felt in their respective jobs, 31 percent cited increased work pressure.
The shortage of skilled workers presents companies with "enormous challenges in terms of performance, process reliability and customer service," said Jens Warkentin, CEO of HDI Germany.
Especially in the USA, employees turned their backs on their employers in droves during the Corona pandemic. The wave of layoffs made international headlines under the slogan "quiet quitting".
Identification with the work increased at times
The German economy was spared the phenomenon, on the contrary, identification with work even increased at times. This is evident both from the previous surveys of the HDI Occupations Study and from scientific studies.
For example, in a paper published in July, the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) found that identification with the job and loyalty to the employer had declined in the years before Corona. But during the pandemic, this trend did not continue.
The open question now is whether the Corona pandemic may have been only an intermediate high in this respect. If that were the case, companies would have to work harder to retain their staff. In the study, the IAB recommended that employers take the decline in engagement in the years before Corona seriously and try to "sustainably reverse" the trend.
Job is not a central purpose in life for a majority
In the previous HDI surveys of recent years, well over half of those surveyed said that the profession meant a lot to them, and in the course of the Corona pandemic it had even been more than 2020 percent in 2021 and 60. In the new edition of the survey, this figure has now fallen to a lower level than before the pandemic in 2019.
The fact that the job is not the central purpose of life for a majority of the working population is also shown by other studies.
In an international survey published at the beginning of the year by the management consultancy Boston Consulting Group and the job board association The Network, two-thirds of the 4200 participants surveyed in Germany stated that the ideal career path for them was a secure job.
It is important to have enough time for family, friends and hobbies. Only in second place did 43 percent want an interesting job with "exciting" products, technologies or services.
Less propensity to change jobs in times of crisis
The obvious connection between the willingness to change jobs and the economy is obvious. In times of crisis, employees are more inclined to remain loyal to their company.
In a study published this week, the Cologne Institute for Economic Research reported that the turnover rate had initially decreased during the pandemic. In 2022, it returned to its pre-crisis level in the first half of the year, only to fall sharply again towards the end of the year in the wake of the current economic downturn.
As far as the basic attitude towards earning a living is concerned, according to the HDI survey, quite a few people would be willing to continue working after retirement. This, however, under the condition of better conditions. For example, more than a quarter said they would continue to work for more money. Under unchanged conditions, it would therefore only be ten percent. (lma/dpa)