Don’t Worry, Do Construction: Study Ranks Happiest Workers

New research from human resources startup TINYpulse finds that, no matter the industry, employees who have ample resources and coworkers they like are the happiest.

Construction workers do more heavy labor than office drones do—and they’re OK with that.

In fact, according to a new survey released by the human resources firm TINYpulse, employees in the construction and facilities services field are the happiest and rank ahead of those who work with consumer products and technology—two lines of work that get a lot more attention.

TINYpulse based its findings on the thousands of one-question surveys that it serves up weekly to companies, small and large, including General Electric, Amazon, and Ticketmaster.

So what makes construction firms such great places to work? According to the survey, the top three reasons are people, projects, and work environment. About a third of construction and facilities services employees (34 percent) said they are happy with the people they work with, while 19 percent said they are excited about the projects they work on, and 10 percent boasted of a great work environment.

One employee summed it up best in comments to TINYpulse: “I am very happy at work. I really like what I do, and I get to learn something new every day to improve what I do already. I enjoy my work and working with my coworkers.”

What Frustrates Employees

The study’s greatest lessons may come from the bottom rankings. Manufacturing ranked lowest out of 12 fields in the study. Also bringing up the rear: the government and nonprofit sector, which sits in 11th place.

So why do those in the manufacturing trade struggle? It comes down to leadership. The study noted that employees were most likely to be brought down by unsupportive managers, limited tools and resources, and fewer opportunities for growth.

A company’s unwillingness to modernize also likely contributes to employee dissatisfaction, Dan Davis, editor-in-chief at the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association, told TINYpulse .

“Some facilities have not made these investments, so their employees may not see the benefit,” Davis said. “Also, if a company is not taking the time to have safety meetings or invest in safety guards to protect employees, will employees think that they have an employer that is looking after them? Probably not.”

Any industry, though, has room to fix lingering human resources problems, TINYpulse CEO David Niu told Entrepreneur magazine.

“These findings are remarkable because they show me that any leader—no matter the industry that they’re in—has the power to make workplace changes to materially impact job satisfaction,” Niu said.

Curious about the full study? You can download the full results.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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