However twinkly the fairy lights still are there’s no escaping the fact that it’s time to put down the Quality Street and pick up the paperwork that has been stashed away for the last week – yes it’s time to go back to work.
Despite the early mornings and the packed buses and trains, there is usually a feeling of optimism and renewed energy about getting back into the swing of work after the Christmas break, We’re all feeling a bit less frazzled after the rest and still retain a smidgeon of festive cheer and bonhomie to carry us through. And there is something about a new year on the calendar which focuses the mind. Traditionally we all give some thought to what we really want to achieve from our jobs and it’s often the time we start approaching our bosses with new ideas and goals. But this year, according to a survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development we are all feeling a little too economically battered and bruised to start leaping into work like a Duracell bunny. It may have something to do with the fact that less than half of us received pay rises this year, and those of us that have received just 2.5% – half the cost of inflation. Here’s what a survey of x employers reveals:
· Since 2008, the proportion of employees receiving a pay rise has fallen from 67% to 45% in 2011, down slightly on the 46% recorded in 2010.
· By sector, 51% of private sector employees have had a pay rise since the start of 2011, 45% did likewise in the voluntary sector, but just 24% of those in the public sector have received an increase.
· Among those receiving a pay rise the average (median) increase was 2.5%
· The proportion of employees who have been subject to a pay freeze has increased from 24% in 2008 to 48% in 2011.
· By sector, public sector employees (70%) are most likely to have seen their pay frozen in 2011, followed by those in the voluntary sector (48%) and the private sector (42%). In addition, 5% of employees saw their pay cut.
With that in mind it’s no wonder we’re not all bouncing around suggesting ways to increase efficiency and productivity – we already know the answer – just take a look in the mirror – you’re it! So instead let’s concentrate on how we can make work work for us. Use your commute (if you can get a seat) or steal an hour at lunch (sorry – I temporarily slipped back to the 80’s there – make that 20 minutes) to take a cold hard look at your job. Imagine it disappeared tomorrow – what would that mean? If the thought fills you with more excitement than fear then start tunnelling. That doesn’t mean start firing off applications at random it means making yourself ultra employable – clear the decks, sign up for any training you can, and ensure that you are ready for your next review. Be conscientious, but ruthless – no more donkey work – it’s time to think like a show pony!