A happy construction worker, since construction is the #1 happiest industry!

BambooHR just released their report for the first half of 2023, ranking the happiness of workers in their respective industries. Who came out on top, you might ask? The Construction industry, that's who.

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How was this calculated?

  • eNPS- the employee version of the Net Promoter Score, which is used to measure customer loyalty to a company.
  • Volatility- the change of eNPS over a period of time, shown as a percentage.
  • Average Volatility- the sum of the difference between each month's average eNPS, which shows volatility as eNPS rather than a percentage.

What's the low-down?

  • There has been a steady decline of employee happiness (about 6%) since January of 2020, across all industries.
  • 2023 has seen a steep drop in happiness since the start of the year (about 9%), 10x faster than previous years.
  • Employees experience extreme happiness highs and lows more than ever.
  • Most simply just accept that morale is bad, and only getting worse.
  • A study done by Gallup found that 80% of Americans are dissatisfied with how things are going in the U.S.
  • Overall job satisfaction is down 8% since 2019.
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The Construction Industry Takes the Gold

The construction industry stands out from the rest, being the least volatile and most happy of industries surveyed. Workers tend to agree month over month that their jobs are pretty great, keeping their average eNPS steady. With rising wages, and plentiful job opportunities, construction workers are in a great spot. Happiness for construction workers peaked in 2020, due to a few things:

    • Residential construction took off, and material shortages created work backlogs that gave some stability.
    • The CARES Act boosted optimism with a $4 trillion stimulus to the economy. Since then, happiness has tapered a bit, but held steady at an average of 49 eNPS.
A portrait of a happy construction worker

    Relevant Industry trends

    • There is a high demand for construction work.Even with the topple of the supply chains in 2020, the spending on construction in manufacturing steadily increased. According to the US Census Bureau, it is nearly $2 million a month in 2023. In 2021, Joe Biden also passed a bipartisan infrastructure plan to give $550 billion to road, bridge, high-speed internet, and other related construction and infrastructure projects, giving yet another stimulus to the industry.
    • Wages are on the rise. Hourly wages are on a 40 year high, as of 2022. Median wages reached $17.58, but they could be as high as $28.58, according to payscale.
    • There are looming staff shortages.It is predicted to be a 546,000 worker shortage needed to meet demand, according to the Associated Builders and Contracators.

    Four things you can do

      1. Be ready to hire, and train, inexperienced workers. With the worker shortage, sometimes you can't choose what, or who, is available. Investing in employees and helping them build a career will help them grow and improve at your company.
      2. Have HR focus on recruitment and training programs. Building a strong employee base is the key to success. Growing from within, and offering current employees opportunities for advancement are great for keeping around those who want to do well.
      3. Invest in company culture and mission. Nonprofit companies grew 3x faster than those in the for-profit sector. More and more people are craving meaning in their work, and not just looking to punch a clock. This doesn't mean become a non-profit, but giving an employees a sense of meaning and encouraging them on their work is a great start.
      4. Remain positive and supportive of employees. People want to be supported and valued in their work. Going in and feeling unappreciated and undervalued doesn't lead to great employee retention!
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