While pandemic-induced uncertainty takes its toll on America’s workforce, there is much HR can do to make employees happier.
Traitify, a human insight platform for enterprise HR departments, announces the release of The Happiness Report, a detailed look at the satisfaction and wellbeing of America’s high-volume workforce. While a plurality of respondents maintain a constant level of happiness in their current roles, more than a quarter are less happy in their job than they were before the pandemic began. The Happiness Report examines what HR practices, managerial interventions, and benefits most impact employee happiness and serves as a guide to HR professionals managing high-volume workforces in common jobs (ie. those roles represented by numerous employees in the company such as a cashier, medical assistant, cargo loader or custodian).
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“A majority of our lives are spent at work, and through the pandemic, we are all working in extreme circumstances,” said Dr. Heather Myers, Traitify’s chief psychology officer. “When we think about COVID as it relates to work, we think about our physical safety, but workers also have a focus on practical needs such as job security and income being met. Psychological safety is just as important as physical safety for our high-volume workforces, and shouldn’t just be a focus for office workers.”
Traitify surveyed 1,103 workers of common jobs across the United States. Findings demonstrated the breadth of repercussions the pandemic had and continues to have across high-volume industries as diverse as retail, hospitality, logistics, healthcare and more.
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Key results from the report include:
A plurality of employees didn’t experience a change in happiness, but more than a quarter are less happy than one year ago
- While nearly half of respondents (48.15%) indicated they were “about [as happy] as [they were] before”, more than 1 in 4 (26.8%) suffered a drop in satisfaction — a considerably greater percentage of respondents than those that experienced a happiness increase (18.2%).
In a year of uncertainty, job security is sought after
- Nearly the same number (66.4% of respondents) selected job security as a top-three factor in determining their happiness with a job as those who selected “How much I am paid” (66.7% of respondents).
Most employees think their employers responded well to the pandemic
- When asked to rate how well their employer responded to the challenges of the pandemic, respondents’ mean response was 71 on a scale from 1 to 100. Notably, the most frequent response, provided by 9.3% of workers, was the maximum value of 100.
Around half of job seekers rank communication and easy-to-use apply experiences as priorities when applying for jobs
- Half of survey-takers (49.23%) cite updates as something they’d like while applying for a job. Similar numbers point to easy job-search (52.67%) and job-application (50.14%) experiences.
“Now more than ever, a focus on helping people find their happiness is of the utmost importance. Traitify does this by tapping into the power of human insight to bring actionable understanding of job fit and employee development to employees and employers,” said Traitify CEO Dan Sines. “Employee benefits are too often focused on salaried workers like those who have been able to telecommute throughout the pandemic, but high-volume workforces (recently considered essential) also find value in them. HR should look for creative ways to bring things like flexibility, additional compensation opportunities, and paid time off to all parts of their workforce.”
The data suggests that employers should focus on trust-building tactics with candidates and employees. This includes communication of clear COVID protocols, transparency from managers and the establishment of meaningful connections between managers and employees.