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Most British employees are hard workers who put in extra hours out of choice and wake up in the morning eager to ge...
Most British employees are hard workers who put in extra hours out of choice and wake up in the morning eager to get to work, according to results from a major employee attitude survey, published today.

Over half (57%) of British employees say they wake up in the morning and really look forward to going to work either all or most of the time, according to the Institute of Personnel and Development's (IPD) 'Employee motivation and the psychological contract' - an annual study which monitors how people feel about their jobs, their employers and the workplace.

The study, which is conducted in conjunction with Birkbeck College, University of London found that two out of five people claim to be working over 40 hours each week. But over half of respondents (53%) say they have a lot of choice over how hard they work compared with 26% who say they have little or no choice.

It also showed that many people do more than they are strictly required to - such as helping new workers (62%) and staying late or helping out when necessary (50%).

Mike Emmott, IPD policy adviser and manager of the project, says: 'What is crystal clear from our research is that if managers aim to build a reputation for quality, innovation or customer service and if they want employees who are willing to go that extra mile, they need relationships based on trust. In other words they need to establish a positive psychological contract'.

Encouragingly the survey shows that most people (90%) believe that they are, in general, treated fairly at work. Seventy-nine percent trust their organisation to keep its promises to employees - an increase on last year's 72%. Most (71%) also trust that managers will look after the best interests of the employees and 70% say managers have always or to a large extent kept their promises about job security. However Emmott points out that management is not quite as good at keeping its promises about the demands of the job, but says that 'many managers and employees are in a position to influence the length of their working day and clearly have some choice'.

Asked to identify the three most important things they look for in a job, seventy per cent say pay, followed by interesting and enjoyable work at 62%. Job security comes third at 28%, followed by working with people you get on with (24%) .

In general, British workers believe they get a fair day's pay for a fair day's work with two out of three feeling that they are fairly rewarded for the amount of effort they put into their job.

Information notes:

-- 'Employee motivation and the psychological contract' is the third in a series of annual IPD employee attitude surveys which aim to monitor how people feel about their jobs and their employers. The report was compiled by a team from Birkbeck College, University of London.

It is based on a telephone survey, carried out by the Harris Research Centre, of 1,000 men and women working in organisations employing 10 or more and is stratified to be representative of age and gender. The report is available from Plymbridge Distributors on 01752 202 301 at a cost£14.50 (£9.50 to IPD


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