Employee happiness is plummeting — and it's costly for businesses

 A recent report by BambooHR, a human resources cloud platform, reveals that employees are currently more unhappy compared to the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a matter of concern as disengaged employees can be costly, and openly unhappy or disloyal employees can create a toxic workplace environment, negatively impacting company morale.

BambooHR collected data from 57,000 employees across 1,600 companies between January 2020 and June 2023. The findings indicate a significant decline in employee satisfaction since 2020, with employee sentiment falling at a rate ten times faster than the previous three years. The healthcare sector reported the highest level of unhappiness, with a 32% drop in positive sentiment from June 2020 to June 2023. The education sector also saw a rapid decline in happiness ratings compared to the previous years. Tech and finance industries also reported declining employee satisfaction scores.

However, in contrast to these findings, employees in the construction industry were the most satisfied due to increased wages and job opportunities.

Various factors contribute to this decline in employee morale. Anita Grantham, Head of Human Resources at BambooHR, attributes it to macro stressors such as inflation rates, rounds of layoffs, uncertainty regarding return to office, hybrid or remote work policies, and the isolation that comes with it. The recent wave of COVID-19 also adds to employees' feelings of gloominess.

Moreover, lack of connection could also play a role. A Gallup survey suggests that remote, in-person, and hybrid employees feel disconnected from their workplaces' mission and purpose. Instead of experiencing highs or lows, employees express a sense of resignation or apathy.

In conclusion, the report highlights a significant decline in employee satisfaction since 2020, with healthcare employees being the most unhappy. The reasons can be attributed to various factors such as macro stressors and a lack of connection to the company's mission and purpose.  

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