Report Reveals Which Are The Unhappiest Industries

businessman point at head shoot

Last year employee engagement hit the headlines for all of the wrong reasons with a report from Gallup showcasing just how dire it was around the world. It revealed that just 13 percent of the American workforce were engaged in the work they were doing, with the picture not much better in other countries around the world.

As a report, it was certainly an eye opener. While it provided a strong overview of the state of the labour market, it perhaps lacked a deeper look at just which industries were performing best, and, of course, which were performing worst.

Step forward the latest Industry Ranking Report from HR software provider TinyHR.  They’ve surveyed over 30,000 employees from a whole host of industries to try and gain an understanding of just which sectors have the happiest workforce, and indeed what are some of the factors that go into making employees happy.

The Happiest Industries Revealed

After crunching the numbers, the following industries came out on top as the happiest of them all:

  1. Construction
  2. Consumer Products and Services
  3. Technology and Software
  4. Telecom, Energy and Utilities
  5. Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals and Biotech
  6. Hospitality
  7. Media and Entertainment
  8. Finance and Insurance
  9. Education
  10. Business Services and Consulting

The results may come as something of a surprise, as construction does not always jump out as an industry bursting with happy and engaged employees. However, 37 percent of respondents from that sector revealed they were overjoyed with their work and colleagues. Working with great colleagues is regarded as a key pillar in our engagement levels, so this camaraderie goes some way to explaining construction claiming first place.

And the Unhappiest?

Well, unfortunately it was the manufacturing industry that brought up the rear in the study. Just as exceptional teammates was a plus point for those in construction, the quality of teammates was given as one of the overwhelmingly negative factors for those earning their living in manufacturing. Employees revealed that things such as collaboration, team work and even being able to rely on one another were often sorely lacking in the sector.

The report suggests that the culture in manufacturing is a contributory factor as the whole work environment in many manufacturing organisations tends to discourage these kind of behaviours. The authors believe that for these organisations to improve, they need to embody these collaborative values and ensure that they recruit based upon them.

Hiring for cultural fit, therefore, is fundamental to building the kind of environments within which employees come to work happy and engaged.  The report reveals however that 64 percent of organisations lack this strong and dominant culture, so it is perhaps not all that likely that the kind of cultural revolution they believe is required will actually materialise.

I’d love to hear how your own industry performed in the league table.  Do you agree with the rankings from your own experiences?  Do you agree that working with great colleagues is the key to an engaged work life?  Let me know your views in the comments below.


2015 TINYpulse Best Industry Ranking Report