How do employees in Germany view their work?

Nik Penhale Smith

Looking back at international news, 2013 was a relatively good year for Germany. Oktoberfest, as usual, was a roaring success 1, Stuttgart hosted the World beard and moustache championships 2, and Hamburg embarked on an ambitious plan to cover 40% of the city in a “green network” 3. In addition to this, Germany followed many European countries in voting in legislation that will favour more women in the boardroom 4, and back in March, German exports hit a record €98.9 billion 5.

In economic news, the European Commission forecast for Germany shows a slight decrease in GDP in 2013, and, perhaps surprisingly, also a slight decrease in unemployment rates 6. Although these statistics illustrate country wide trends, they say very little about how individual people felt about their work in 2013.

So, in a year of legislation and green networks, how did employees in Germany feel about their work in comparison to their European colleagues?

Some of the preliminary findings on how employees in Germany viewed their work, manager interaction and working conditions can be found below. If you are interested in further insights please sign up for our forthcoming report, where in addition to further work insights, you will also be able to see levels of employee engagement and employee commitment for 52 different countries.

Global Employee Engagement Index™

The Global Employee Engagement Index™ is a global employee survey conducted by Effectory International that surveys the work-related opinions of employees in 52 different countries. Respondents are asked more than 100 questions each in order for Effectory International to gain a detailed insight into global work-opinions. From the data collected, Effectory International also creates a benchmarking tool that compares 52 different countries on 17 key HR variables (including employee engagement).

» Learn how the Global Employee Engagement Index can benefit your organisation


  • Our results show that in comparison to their European neighbours, Germany scored lower in work efficiency and in employees taking on new responsibilities.
  • In comparison to their European colleagues, the majority of German employees were less willing to go the extra mile in order to contribute to the overall success of their organisation.

Manager Interaction:

  • Our research shows that on average, employees in Germany felt that their contact with managers was less amiable than their European counterparts.
  • Results show there to be a high variance in the opinions of employees on the levels of support received from managers, and in their confidence in manager’s decision making abilities.

Working conditions:

  • Employees in Germany scored highly in their working conditions, as most employees felt they had sufficient access to the necessary resources required for them to complete their work well.
  • In addition to adequate access to resources, the majority of employees also felt safe whilst carrying out their work.
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6 European Commission Autumn forecast 2013. nance/eu/forecasts/2013_autumn_forecast_en.htm

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