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2014 National Workplace Happiness Survey Findings

The Workplace Happiness Mission

If we spend most of our lives working, then one the most important question has got to be "how happy are you working".

We set out on a mission to find out the answer to that question for working adults in Singapore, and more importantly, what can we do about it as individuals.

The National Workplace Happiness Survey conducted in 2014 was a project jointly conceived by Align Group and Singapore Human Resource Institute (SHRI) with the support from the Health Promotion Board and NTUC. The intention was to gather a national benchmark on workplace happiness, so that the different stakeholders can utilise the information to advance different agenda related to workplace mental well-being.

The survey results with a sample size of 5,627 were subsequently published across several news outlet including Channel NewsAsia and StraitsTimes, with the insights forming the foundation for workplace engagement projects for many companies.

Employees "underhappy" in 2014

There is more to do when it comes to paving the path towards enhancing workplace happiness in Singapore. Employees are generally less than happy at work with an overall workplace happiness index of 59 out of 100, placing them in the "underhappy" band.

The factors of Hope, Salary and Culture ranked most poorly, with scores of 48, 47 and 42, respectively - which fall in the "Unhappy" band. On the other end of the spectrum, employees were satisfied with factors such as self-efficacy, resilience and interpersonal relations, with scores of 74, 72 and 71 respectively.

From a human resource perspective, the survey gives employers and HR practitioners a better understanding of workplace happiness drivers and areas in which companies can take the lead.

Local SMEs also scored 60.3 on the overall workplace happiness index - ahead of other types of companies such as public service (60.2), foreign SMEs (58.1) and multinational corporations (57.1), but below voluntary welfare organisations (64.6).

This could be due to the empowerment that SME employees feel as they participate more in decision making and bolster their sense of autonomy and meaning at work.

The findings from 2014 also revealed that younger workers were unhappier than their Baby Boomers - aged 50 and over - peers. Generation X workers (born in 1964 to 1980) and Generation Y workers (born after 1980) had an overall happiness score of 58 to 58.5 respectively. Boomers, on the other hand, had a score of 64.4