What Makes Workers Happy?

Happiness at work varies by an employee’s age, gender and field, among other factors, according to a study of more than 12,000 U.S. and Canadian workers by Robert Half, in collaboration with happiness and well-being expert Nic Marks.

Most professionals are generally happy. On a happiness scale of 0 to 100, those surveyed scored a 71. The research found having pride in one’s organization is the No. 1 driver of happiness overall for respondents. Those who feel proud of their organization are three times more likely to be happy than those who are not. The second and third top factors driving happiness are feeling appreciated, and being treated with fairness and respect.

Poor fit employees are more likely to be headed for the door. One-third of workers (33%) say they will likely leave their current employer in the next six months; workers who report that they are not a good match with their employers are the most apt to leave.

People working in firms with 10 or fewer employees have the highest happiness levels, the research found. Organizations with 10,000 or more employees report the lowest. In addition, those in the education and training sector, as well as marketing and design, report the highest levels of on-the-job happiness and interest in their work, while finance professionals were among those reporting the lowest levels on these two factors. Senior executives have the highest happiness levels, while people working in sales and customer service are on the lower end of the spectrum.

NEXT: Happiness by generation and gender