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Gov’t workers happiest, says online report

By: - Reporter / @amyremoINQ
/ 01:24 AM September 01, 2016

In these times of “endo” and a weak global job market, working in government is something to hold on to and to be happy about for many civil servants in the Philippines.

Despite their modest pay, government workers were found to be the “happiest” compared with employees in other sectors in the Philippines, according to Jobstreet.com, a job site for professionals looking for work in Asia.

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Results of the 2016 Happiness Index Report showed that civil servants in the country gave their jobs the highest rating of 6.6, using a scale of 0 to 10 in which 10 meant extremely happy; 5, neutral; and 0, extremely unhappy, according to Jobstreet.com.

Among employees in general polled in the region in July, Filipinos had the highest average satisfaction rating of 6.25 in terms of job happiness, followed by Indonesians (6.16) and Thais (5.74). Singaporeans were found to have the lowest satisfaction rating (5.09).

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Security of tenure

“We think that the high rating from government employees may be due to security of tenure and the fact that this survey was recently done in July. So you have a lot of factors affecting that including optimism in the new administration,” Philip A. Gioca, country manager for Jobstreet.com Philippines, said in a briefing yesterday.

The job security enjoyed by civil servants who took part in the survey is in sharp contrast to the job insecurity of many workers, who are victims of the endo (end-of-contract) scheme in which they are terminated just before their sixth month on the job so they won’t be regularized and be given benefits. President Duterte has vowed to end the endo scheme.

Optimistic under new admin

“We actually have a handful of job seekers working in government who said ‘they are happy.’ One of the insights we got when we looked at the results of the survey was that there was a lot of optimism in the administration,” Gioca said.

“The stress levels (faced by government employees) were probably not that high and productivity was likely another factor,” he said.

There were 1.53 million government workers in the country in 2015, or 3.4 percent of the total labor force. About half of the government personnel or around 700,000 are teachers.

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Gioca did not disclose the number of government employees who were polled out of the 12,796 Filipinos who participated in the survey.

The Happiness Index Report was aimed at determining the satisfaction level among employees in their jobs and the factors that influence their happiness.

The report used an 11-point scale rating with 5 being the neutral point. The index rating was based on the total weighted average scores.

Apart from the Philippines, the survey was conducted in six other Asian countries—Indonesia, which had 23,844 respondents; Singapore (2,696); Vietnam (4,452); Thailand (1,407); Malaysia (4,446); and Hong Kong (1,045).

Jobstreet.com said 73 out of every 100 Filipinos were found to be happy with their jobs, just two points ahead of Indonesia at 71. Malaysia has the lowest happiness index at 41.

In terms of job optimism, however, the Philippines ranked third with a rating of 6.15, next to Indonesia’s 6.58 and Vietnam’s 6.30.

New employees happiest

Filipinos who have just started to work (six months to one year) were the happiest employees, while in terms of position level, fresh graduates gave the highest satisfaction rating of 6.52, Jobstreet.com said.

By specialization, employees engaged in the hospitality, building and construction, and education sectors were deemed happiest. In terms of location, those working in Bicol, Caraga and Western Visayas were the happiest.

Those working in the education sector gave a happiness rating of 6.53 while those engaged in the oil and gas businesses posted a rating of 6.49.

Filipinos also put a high premium on great rapport with colleagues, convenient work location and the company’s reputation.

These factors can easily be attributed to the relational nature of Filipinos, the worsening traffic congestion that results in unproductive hours for employees and the need for stability in the companies they work for.

Other reasons for employee happiness are salary, benefits, leadership, career development, job security, culture, corporate values, training, work schedule and immediate superior, according to Jobstreet.com.

The top factors that make employees leave a company were found to be uninspiring leadership, insufficient salary, lack of benefits and lack of training.

Jobstreet.com said these factors were not necessarily what made employees happy should they be addressed competently, but could  be hugely influential in employees’ decisions to stay or find better opportunities.

To increase job happiness, Filipino respondents mentioned the need for a higher salary (34 percent), followed by getting a new job (21 percent) and getting a promotion (8 percent). With  a report from Inquirer Research

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