Motivation and satisfaction are back among Germany's employees.

Nine out of ten employees say they are satisfied with their work, every second even "without reservation".

The proportion of motivated people has also increased compared to two years ago.

While 68 percent of employees were motivated or highly motivated in 2019, the figure was significantly higher again in 2021 at 78 percent - despite the Corona crisis.

Nadine Bad

Editor in business, responsible for “Job and Opportunity”.

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These are the results of a representative survey of 1550 employees in Germany, which the consulting company EY commissions every two years. This year's results were collected last June by the Teleresearch Institute and are available to the FAZ in advance. They show that the pressure that employees are exposed to in their everyday work has increased over the past five years.

At the same time, according to the respondents, the bottom line is that work-life balance has improved.

"Just as this crisis made innovation leaps for processes and products possible, it could also offer the opportunity to encourage a general rethinking, for example when it comes to making work more flexible, sustainability in the company or women and careers," concludes the manager of the business field personnel consulting services of EY, Markus Heinen.

“The flexible work from home was well received by many employees, and the stronger self-organization was able to trigger a boost in motivation for some,” says Jan-Rainer Hinz, managing director, HR manager and labor director of EY in Germany.

Increasing satisfaction not only thanks to home office

Professional coaches can confirm that. "In our consultation inquiries, we find that the job satisfaction of employees is no longer primarily the bottleneck," says Paul Fortmeier, CEO of the German Society for Supervision and Coaching. Employees can draw motivation from the experience of the pandemic when the first paralysis has been overcome and experiences have been made with successfully contributing to coping, often under difficult conditions. It is particularly satisfactory when superiors approve of this. "And here perhaps especially those who, for example, were previously rather critical of home office regulations and now have to admit that they have been taught better."

Nevertheless, there are also voices that warn against interpreting the statements to the effect that the corona-related changes in terms of home office and flexibility could be responsible for the mood upturn. "The satisfaction of employees is subject to a variety of influences, not just the corona situation," says Florian Becker, professor of business psychology at the TH Rosenheim and board member of the business psychological society. Surveys on motivation should also be treated with caution, as they are based on employees' self-assessments. The relationship between satisfaction and motivation is also less strong than is commonly assumed. “There are people who are motivated precisely because they are not satisfied. You want to change and improve something. "

Nevertheless, the result of the EY study joins several messages that signal that the mood is improving again despite the fourth corona wave.

In July, a survey by the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf showed that general life satisfaction of people in Germany had climbed back to pre-crisis levels.

A monthly survey by the market research institute Trendence among 1,000 employees and students recently showed: 45 percent of the participants see the current economic situation as a personal opportunity to advance their career - an increase compared to six months ago: at that time, 34 percent of those surveyed shared this Point of view.