Nov 18, 2015

Universum has just published another fascinating survey analysis that should be required reading for any leader wondering about the engagement of their employees, humanity in the workplace, or whether or not their workforce is happy.

The summary is available here, and it introduces the Universum Global Workforce Happiness Index.

The survey covered 250,000 plus professionals in 55 markets in order to set country- and industry-level benchmarks. The Universum Global Workforce Happiness Index is calculated based on:

  1. Employee satisfaction in their current job;
  2. Likelihood of recommending their current employer, and;
  3. Their stated sense of job loyalty.

4 types of workers

Starting off with a simple four-box model of work happiness, the four quadrants are simple to understand because of their common sense approach:universum-happiness-1

  • STRANDED employees feel dissatisfied in their current jobs, but are unmotivated or unwilling to make a change.
  • SEEKERS are dissatisfied at work and looking for a change.
  • RESTLESS employees require immediate attention because even though they are satisfied and likely to recommend their employee, they are open to changing jobs.
  • FULFILLED employees are satisfied, feel positive about their employer as a place to work and aren’t interested in changing jobs.

This construct is simple and makes it easy to relate to these four types of workers.

Global happiness insights

If you are leading a global business, then the Global Workforce Happiness Index By Country chart will give you some interesting data to chew on:universum-happiness-2

If you have global expansion plans should you prioritize those countries whose workers are Restless? Or countries whose workers are Seekers? Or do you go right for the Fulfilled worker countries? Maybe it isn’t enough to be looking at skills availability – maybe the availability of hearts and minds should also be a factor.

This report summary packs a great deal of insight into just 17 pages and I’ve just skimmed the surface for you.

In the final section, every employer would do well to follow this recommendation:

Separate “attraction drivers” from “retention drivers.” Do the characteristics that attract high quality candidates to your organization retain them for the medium- or long-term?

For organizations battling it out in the talent wars around the globe, this is the next tough question to answer.

Important implications

The implications of workforce happiness around the world – especially with Millennials (Gen Y) and Gen Z becoming the dominant generations at work – are beginning to change how every organization relates to its people. We’re re-thinking lots of fundamental people processes, policies and behaviors. Factoring the happiness of our people is just one of the ways things are changing.

This is a super report. It gives just enough analysis to be useful, while creating the case to get the full report.

I liked it a lot.

This originally appeared on China Gorman’s blog at

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