'Great Gloom': Employee happiness at an all-time low

Which two industries are at the bottom of the happiness rankings?

'Great Gloom': Employee happiness at an all-time low

Employee happiness has plummeted to an all-time low as a new phenomenon called the "Great Gloom" hits workplaces hard, according to a new index.

BambooHR released an Employee Happiness Index that analysed Employer Net Promoter Scores (eNPS), a system designed to measure employee satisfaction and loyalty.

The index discovered employee happiness is "plunging dramatically" without signs of recovering.

"Overall, June 2023 represents an all-time low for employee happiness, which peaked near the beginning of the pandemic in April 2020," the BambooHR report said.

Brad Rencher, BambooHR CEO, attributed the enormous stress among employees to "unprecedented times."

"Today's complex problems will require leaders to be proactive, adaptive, and data-informed to beat back the Great Gloom," Rencher said in a statement.

Unhappiest sectors

Out of the eight industries covered by the index, it found that the healthcare and education sectors are the unhappiest.

In the healthcare sector, employee happiness saw a steep 40% rate of decline since 2020, with its average eNPS in the first quarter of 2023 at 31.

"Unhappiness accelerated in 2023 as the trendline dipped to a decreasing rate of 89%," the report said.

The education sector logged an average eNPS of 34 in the first half of the year, with the report underscoring that the growing unhappiness in the industry that may not be fully controlled or saved immediately.

"From January through May 2023, the industry experienced a trendline decreasing by a rate of 97%," the report said.

Happiest sectors

The construction industry emerged as the happiest sector, with an average eNPS of 49 in the first half of the year.

"While employee happiness has fluctuated over the past three years, construction workers' eNPS have remained consistently high. The average eNPS ranges from a low of 48 in 2022 up to a high of 53 in 2021," the report said.

The tech sector is the second happiest, with an average eNPS score of 41, followed by finance (37) and nonprofit industries (35).

Addressing the 'Great Gloom'

According to Rencher, businesses will need to put premium on employee experience in "real, meaningful ways like never before."

"Anything less than a holistic approach to developing the mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing of each employee, in addition to their skills, will fall short."

Anita Grantham, head of HR at the HR software company BambooHR, also warned that tracking sales and marketing alone is "being irresponsible."

"Any leadership team that is only tracking sales and marketing performance is being irresponsible and overlooking their largest cost centre: their people," Grantham said. "ENPS is one of many tools businesses need to track their organisation's health and catch problems quickly and thoughtfully. When margins shrink, it's easy to get reactionary, but playing the long game and taking care of your employees is always good business."

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