Human Resources



Singapore employees unhappy National Workplace Happiness Survey by SHRI and Align

Singapore staff still in pursuit of happiness

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Employees in Singapore are sick of not earning enough, not having promising career opportunities, and feeling obliged to work long hours.

Now, new research corroborates all of that, finding the nation’s employees are “under happy” – standing at an index value of 59 on the National Workplace Happiness Survey.

This value has been concluded by studying 28 dimensions of happiness, such as positive emotions, autonomy, co-workers’ commitment, and immediate supervisor, among 5,500 employees (94% of whom are national and permanent residents).

The three dimensions which led to the most unhappiness were culture, salary and benefits, and hope (“Do I have a bright future at work?”). All three valued sub-50 on the index.

Employees were relatively happier with the element of self-efficacy, with the highest number saying they are “confident of doing a good job.” This was followed by resilience (“I can handle difficulties at work”) and interpersonal relations (“I enjoy good relationships with my co-workers”.)

Respondents expressed the highest sensitivity about feeling pride in working for an organisation, being in a good mood while working, and feeling a sense of accomplishment – all of which were found to be the most influential in driving happiness at work.

Male and female employees showed almost no disparity in their unhappiness, and both sets rated “brand identity” as the most important aspect to their happiness.

Across generations, Baby Boomers were significantly happier at work (64.4) than their Generation X (58.0) and Generation Y (58.5) counterparts.

This is the formula for happiness

Notably, the happiest employees overall came from voluntary welfare organisations (64.6), followed by local SMEs, and foreign SMEs.

Echoing this, employees in the charity and social services industry were deemed the happiest, while the logistics & supply chain sector was among the unhappiest.

“Workplace happiness can no longer be deemed a luxury in an organisation. In order to boost productivity and cultivate the best talent to leadership positions, the pursuit of happiness or well-being as an organisational strategy is crucial,” said Erman Tan, president of Singapore Human Resources Institute (SHRI) that conducted the study in partnership with Align Group.

Image: Shutterstock

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