What can be learnt from the happiest jobs?

16th June 2015

Construction Workers are HappyThe Guardian newspaper has carried out an extensive review of research carried out in a number of occupational surveys to ascertain which professions report high levels of satisfaction and happiness. But what does this tell us and how can these results be applied to other professions?

There didn’t appear to be a high correlation between happiness and salary, with the top results in including engineers, teachers, medics, gardeners, personal assistants and construction workers. So if it’s not about money, what’s going on here?

It appears that there isn’t a great deal to connect the different jobs in the job happiness scale, however most of them do require some level of expertise and they provide a high level of autonomous working in which the worker will often have to complete a process from the beginning until the end.

Being trusted to carry out your own tasks is often highly rated in job satisfaction surveys, however it’s not enough to achieve job satisfaction.

Of course it’s important for an organisation to be able to properly communicate and engage with their team, however some of the job roles listed are in sectors in which there is notoriously high staff turnover and poor staff relations (think teaching and medical professions).

In addition workers in the roles ranked on the list can also see the benefits they’re having to the community around them and have an understanding about the importance of their role to society as a whole through its direct impact on people.

In some situations it’s therefore essential that the organisation understands how to “get out of the way”, that is to immerse their employees through corporate culture, effective communication and positive engagement to create an understanding of their contribution to society. The process of re-enfranchising an employee can be a long and drawn out endeavour, requiring two way communication, leadership, recognition, training and reward.

In understanding the happiness and satisfaction levels of other professions, HR professionals and business owners can really learn to engage with their team, taking HR out of the realms of absentee management and staff policy to become an integral element of the company’s brand and culture, where employees’ contribution is highlighted and celebrated.

The Happiest Jobs:

  • Engineers
  • Teacher
  • Nurse
  • Medical Practitioner
  • Gardener
  • Construction Worker
  • Personal Assistant

Read the Guardian’s article Going to work with a smile on your face and find out more about the ten happiest professions.

We’d be interested to hear what you’ve learnt from other professions and how you’ve applied it to increasing job satisfaction and happiness in your team.