It feels like we've all been blind-sided by polls and market research over the past 12 months. Just look at some of the unpredicted political outcomes.

So I take some of the recent results from the CIPD's Spring Employee Outlook with a more than generous pinch of sodium.

Apparently public sector job satisfaction is at an all-time high (well based on the eight years this survey has been running).

Really?  Now I know that many public service employers have been doing great work to enhance total reward, wellbeing and the overall employment experience.

But with rising living costs, pressures of cost reduction, together with more media scrutiny than ever I still find that result surprising.

Clearly it's all about the context - I doubt all those who responded are frontline city nurses or social workers.

But before you mistake this post for a rant against the Govt (it isn't), I think it's all about the reference point & the value of 'satisfaction' as a measure.

I know that the CIPD’s research behind these results measures responses, to a number of questions – many of them around empowerment, autonomy to use initiative, purpose, flexible etc – which these austere times may well have improved.

But are people being productive? I guess my final point is whether that emotionally-loaded phrase - ‘job satisfaction’ is still relevant? Perhaps we need a new descriptor?