Employees are more unhappy now than they were during the COVID-19 pandemic. This revelation comes from BambooHR’s most recent Employee Happiness Index, which found that the average employee satisfaction score decreased 11% from June 2022 to June 2023, falling at a rate nearly 15 times faster than the previous two years combined.
This decline in employee satisfaction has been dubbed the “Great Gloom” by BambooHR. In this article, we dive deeper into the data to discover why employees are more dissatisfied than ever and offer suggestions to help organizations boost morale.
About the Employee Happiness Index
BambooHR’s Employee Happiness Index is based on an analysis of more than 57,000 unique employee net promoter score (NPS) responses from eight key industries in the company’s platform.
Results indicate that several factors contribute to employee satisfaction levels, including tenure and company size. Organizations with an average employee tenure of less than three years were generally happier than those with longer average tenures. In addition, small- and medium-sized businesses with fewer employees tend to have happier employees than larger companies.
The following are noteworthy takeaways to consider:
- Construction has been identified as the happiest industry, in part due to job stability and increased wages.
- Employee happiness in the health care industry dropped 32% in the last three years, with half the drop occurring in 2023.
- The travel and hospitality space is the only industry experiencing growing employee happiness.
- The technology, finance, restaurant, food and beverage industries all reached three-year employee satisfaction lows in June 2023.
While certain industries are seeing greater dips in employee morale, this pervasive issue is far-reaching. This summer, actors and writers took to the picket lines to express their dissatisfaction in the highly publicized Writers Guild of America strike, a move that is indicative of the “Great Gloom” according to CBS News. At the same time, autoworkers, health care workers, teachers and other members of America’s labor force threatened to strike over contractual issues, fair pay, proper treatment and more.
Why Are Employees So Unhappy?
While there is no singular reason behind employee dissatisfaction, there is a strong correlation between economic conditions and employee happiness and engagement. Income stability and job security are key factors impacting employee morale, and continued economic uncertainty has likely played a significant role in the “Great Gloom.”
Check out CBIZ’s Agility & Excellence Resource Center to access articles, webinars and other thought leadership resources focused on helping organizations successfully navigate economic uncertainty.
How Employers Can Counteract the “Great Gloom”
Employee unhappiness not only impacts individual employees, but it can also hamper the overall success of an organization. Disengaged employees cost the global economy nearly $8.8 trillion, according to Gallup’s 2023 State of the Global Workplace study.
Brad Rencher, BambooHR CEO, stated that “the new norm of ‘unprecedented times’ is causing enormous stress. Today’s complex problems will require leaders to be proactive, adaptive and data-informed to beat back the ’Great Gloom.’ To succeed in a rapidly evolving world, businesses will need to prioritize employee experience in real, meaningful ways like never before.”
While employers can’t control the economic conditions around them, they can make adjustments internally to deliver an employee experience in which team members feel secure, supported and celebrated.
Looking for ways to enhance your employee experience without breaking the bank? CBIZ’s Employee Experience Guide offers tips and resources to boost attraction, retention and workplace morale.