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Why are finance sector employees so dissatisfied?

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Despite being part of one of the highest paying industries, employees of financial services companies are among the least happy at work, complaining about low levels of appreciation and recognition.

Just over one in five financial sector workers feel “truly happy” at work, found a new study by TINYpulse, covering 3,000 survey responses from 60 financial companies.

Four in five employees admitted they felt “poorly to moderately” valued at work, with only 21% saying they felt recognised at their job.

One respondent stated: “I do great work all year, very rarely do I even get told I’m doing a good job. Come review time all is forgotten and I’m only reminded about a few things I could have done better.”

The second most common reason for unhappiness was dissatisfaction with management, with less than half (47%) of respondents being satisfied with their direct supervisor’s performance.

Respondents admitted they felt their boss was a “poor communicator”, and did not allocate enough time for either the team or each individual’s personal development.

Stated one employee: “I rarely meet with [my manager], and when I do, I am lucky to get more than 5 minutes. Even then I don’t always have his full attention.”

ALSO READ: Finance professionals ‘realistic’ about bonuses this year

This dissatisfaction spilled over to colleagues as well, where respondents felt poor attitudes, inability to take responsibility, and not being qualified for the role were the main factors driving discontent among peers.

More than one-third said their co-workers complain too much, with one respondent saying, “[My colleagues] seem to need a lot of hand holding and they are not taking responsibility of their own [projects].”

“The finance industry is known for high pay and relative job stability, so we were surprised at these results,” TINYpulse CEO David Niu commented.

“But, the number one thing that makes you happy at work is recognition from your colleagues, and it appears financial workers are not getting that.”

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