That’s what researchers at TINYpulse have suggested with the 2015 Best Industry Ranking Report. This measures job satisfaction by asking over 30,000 employees in 500 companies the same questions. And the results are surprising.
Leading the rankings is an industry you might not associate with employee happiness; with long hours, heavy labour and a relatively modest salary. Yes, really – Construction and Facilities services came out top. Further exploration reveals that employees in this industry had the most positive responses to statements such as ‘I work with great people’ and ‘I’m excited about my work and projects’.
People working in construction also felt that they had a positive work environment, as well as benefiting from learning on the job. Apprenticeship remains common in manual jobs, where other employers see it as a waste of time or money.
The result is a sense of loyalty and potential for progression. Indeed, David Niu, founder of TINYpulse, suggested that the findings show that great leadership can make all the difference to workplace satisfaction, regardless as to industry.
So what can employers learn from these findings? The main points are cultural; recruiters and managers alike need to be looking for employees who fit a company’s ethos. This is clearly beneficial for both sides, since a purely skill-based approach to recruitment doesn’t acknowledge the candidate’s potential to enrich a workplace environment.
Happy and valued employees mean better quality work, and therefore happier employers.
It’s a good recruiter’s duty to ask the questions that find the best matches for a client’s culture. It’s common nowadays to ask questions such as ‘What do you do in your spare time?’ While this can tell you whether a potential candidate will be happy to socialise with their colleagues, a recruiter should also be searching for styles of working coming through, methods of communication, and specific examples as to how a candidate has demonstrated these in the past.
Of course, there’s no guarantee that hiring an employee who fits your workplace culture will ensure that they remain happy in the longer term. For this to happen, more personal investment in an employee is needed.
How do they work? What’s their family situation? If they’re ready to leave, find out why and look for a better position within your company when one becomes available. Remember that while a person might fit an employer, it may take some time for them to find the right role within the organisation.
Just as in the construction industry, long-term job satisfaction requires a personal touch in order to cultivate a working environment wherein employees feel valued and able to grow. Keeping your staff happy is hard – but it may just be the key to success.
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