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Career Satisfaction: Are American Workers Happier? [Infographic]


As you travel to the office on an average workday, do you believe that you could possibly be one of the happiest employees in the world? Research indicates that employees in the US tend to be more actively engaged and satisfied with their jobs. In fact, employers are taking drastic efforts to provide incentives to create career satisfaction for top performance workers. It’s all about raising employee morale and productivity in a challenging economic climate.

What does research say about employee happiness in the USA?

According to a recent Gallup Poll, managers in the USA are the happiest employees around, followed by professional workers, clerical, construction, and sales professionals. Gallup’s research advises that, “there is a great deal of opportunity to improve workplace engagement in all jobs. Still, the finding that managers and executives in the U.S. are more engaged now than in 2009 could be a very promising sign for U.S. businesses and the economy.”

A Randstad Workmonitor survey of employees from 30 countries, generated an interesting infographic (as created by zendesk) that indicates the happiness of employees around the world. The survey highlighted that employees in European countries of Denmark, Switzerland, and Norway reported the highest levels of satisfaction as compared to their colleagues to the west, of Canada, The USA, and New Zealand. However, the USA still ranks considerably higher in employee happiness than Japan, Hungary, and Greece.  

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Why happiness at work counts

There are several reasons why it’s important for employees to experience happiness and general job satisfaction. It comes down to increasing productivity and innovation in the workplace, to produce a greater return on investment.

  • When employees are happy, they are motivated – Over the years, there have been numerous studies conducted that prove that happy employees tend to work hard, engage in their tasks, and look forward to their projects. This enables them to focus on their goals and be successful, rather than resentful or frustrated.
  • Happy employees stick around longer – Creating a sense of loyalty is critical to human resource management success. This means, employers must continually look for ways to encourage and inspire their employees. This can be accomplished with meaningful incentives, progressive career development plans, and ongoing feedback and support.
  • Workers who are satisfied influence others – It has been said that it “only takes one bad apple to spoil the barrel” and this is certainly true when it comes to human resources. One unhappy employee can bring down an entire team in a short period of time. Therefore, it’s important to foster happiness and job satisfaction in every employee so that all can influence and encourage each other.

Perhaps you are a happy employee who looks forward to each day? Or maybe you are on the opposite side of the spectrum, trying to decide what makes you happy about your career? The Payscale Career Goals tool can help you decide. Either way, taking steps to find ways to gain enjoyment and feel a sense of purpose can help you to experience higher levels of job satisfaction – which can lead to greater things in your career.  

Tell Us What You Think

Do you LOVE your job – why or why not? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

More from PayScale

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Tess C. Taylor
Read more from Tess C.

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