EMPLOYERS must “wake up” to the link between staff happiness and productivity, according to the Dorset businessman and peer behind a survey that shows the level of dissatisfaction at work.

The State of Workplace Happiness report puts the South West near the bottom of a national league table, with only 72.9 per cent of employees saying they were happy at work.

The research comes from Engaging Works, a service that provides tools for businesses to encourage happier workforces. It was founded by Lord Mark Price, the former Waitrose boss and ex-government trade minister, who lives in Sturminster Newton.

The survey also suggested the South West was among the least anxious regions in the country, with a score of 26 per cent putting it second from bottom. London, with a score of 44 per cent, topped that table.

The survey also found the UK had many “apostles” – happy and loyal workers who would recommend their employer to others.

Lord Price said: “I’m pleased our 2019 report shows improvement in UK workplace happiness and I’m encouraged to see the country is made up of apostles. However, there is much to do to make UK employees happier at work.

“Employers must wake up to the inextricable link between happy employees and increased productivity. Research shows happy and engaged employees increase productivity and profitability by 20 per cent. This report is a must-read for employers and employees alike.”

Scotland, with a happiness score of 72.5 per cent, and the North West, at 72.6 per cent, were at the bottom of the happiness table, while the West Midlands (81 per cent) and Yorkshire and the Humber (79 per cent) were at the top. The South East was in fourth place at 78 per cent.

South West employees were most likely to think better pay or a four-day week would make them happier.

Engaging Works offers several free tools, including a recently launched Business Library to help individuals become better informed with business knowhow. It offers more than 80,000 business books, e-books and audio books for purchase as well as free podcasts, lectures, articles and research.

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