Do you ever wonder what it is that makes some countries have the happiest employees? Surely, it can’t just be due to benefits and vacation time! In this blog post, we will explore the top 10 countries with the happiest employees and see what makes them so happy.
The Edenred-Ipsos Barometer surveyed more than 14,000 people in 15 countries about their well-being at work. The survey looked at factors such as job satisfaction, work/life balance, and benefits offered by employers.
Here are the top 10 countries with the highest levels of well-being and happiness at work, according to the Edenred-Ipsos Barometer survey. What lessons can we learn from them? And what can Australia do to work our way into the top 10?
In India, employers are realising that happy employees is in their interests. They are trying to address employees’ needs and concerns, which is why Indian workers are so happy. Some of the benefits that Indian workers enjoy include paid vacation time, pension plans, healthcare benefits and childcare benefits.
These benefits make employees in India happy and content in their work, which contributes to the high levels of well-being and happiness at work in India.
Mexico is another country with happy employees, even though the pay is relatively low. In Mexico, basic working rights are in place, including severance pay, standard hours, and health care. This ensures that employees feel secure in their jobs and are able to take care of their basic needs.
Mexican employees also enjoy a strong sense of community at work. They work together to achieve common goals and feel like they are part of a team. This sense of community leads to high levels of happiness and satisfaction at work.
Despite their fast-paced hustle culture and a reputation for long workdays, American workers tend to be satisfied in their work due to good pay, opportunities for advancement, recognition, autonomy and meaning in their work. Benefits like vacation time and healthcare are also important in contributing to employee happiness. However, it is the obligation of the employee to make the most of these benefits and use them to improve their work/life balance.
According to a study, employees in Chile rated high for well-being due to a high level of satisfaction with the relationship between the employer and the employee, as well as the proximity and frequency with which they are supervised. The effects? Employees feel appreciated by their employers and are able to work without feeling constantly micromanaged.
In Brazil, employees are protected by a number of employment schemes that prevent dismissal from taking place unlawfully. This contributes to the high levels of happiness and satisfaction at work in Brazil. Brazilian employees also enjoy a highly social work culture, where they enjoy social gatherings and tackle projects together.
These protective measures and a strong sense of community among employees that exist in Brazil could be what contributes to the country’s high levels of job satisfaction.
German workers are some of the happiest in the world. This is likely due to a number of factors, including the strong German ethic, decent benefits and pay as well as job security. In fact, a Gallup study measured 55% of German workers to be in the “thriving” category of well-being, with 69% saying they are satisfied (or extremely satisfied) with their company as a place to work.
Workers in the education sector are among the happiest in the UK, according to a study by Indeed, followed by those who work in aerospace and defence.
Post-pandemic, another study by Avaya found that 44% of UK workers consider the ability to work remotely as a driver of happiness and 61% would support government policies aimed at the widespread adoption of ‘hybrid’ working practices.
Despite a negative reputation for exploitative labour conditions in the past, China’s work culture has advanced. In recent years, Chinese employers have been trying to improve the benefits and working conditions of their employees. This has led to a rise in employee happiness and contentment in China.
Employees in China are generally content with their jobs because they feel a sense of obligation to work hard and contribute to society. They are also able to rely on strong personal networks (guanxi) to help them find new opportunities when needed. Additionally, employers in China invest a lot in employee training and development, which helps employees feel valued and appreciated.
Poland is one of the happiest countries when it comes to working. In fact, according to a Mindspace Happiness Survey, 80% of people say they’re happy or very happy at work. This is likely due to the country’s opportunities for steady employment from prominent international companies, the nation’s fast economic growth, declining unemployment rate and good benefits on offer.
Conditions in Poland are so attractive that workers from Western Europe migrate to Poland in search of a better life, with 67,000 citizens of other EU countries registered as residents in Poland in 2020, up from 24,000 ten years earlier.
Rounding out our list is Belgium, one of the top countries in the world for work-life balance, with employees working an average of 38.0 hours per week. This is likely due to the country’s flexible labour laws, which give employees a lot of freedom when it comes to choosing their work hours.
Belgian employers also take employees’ needs into account, recognising that generic solutions do not work. They instead offer a range of benefits, such as the abovementioned flexible working hours, to help their employees strike a good work-life balance.
So, what can we learn?
Each of the countries listed above has something unique to offer in terms of increasing employee happiness and satisfaction. However, there are a few things that stand out as being particularly important in achieving high levels of employee contentment.
Benefits, flexibility and appropriate remuneration are among the most important factors in creating a happy workforce. In countries like Germany and the UK, workers enjoy decent pay and benefits, which contributes to their overall satisfaction. Additionally, employers in China invest heavily in employee training and development, which helps employees feel valued and appreciated.
A sense of obligation to work hard and contribute to society is also important in creating a happy workforce. In Germany and China, for example, employees are generally content with their jobs because they feel a sense of obligation to work hard and contribute to society.
Finally, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on work are now evident; the ability to work remotely is now another key factor in employee happiness. In the UK, 44% of workers say that the ability to work remotely is a driver of happiness. This flexibility helps employees strike a good balance between work and their personal lives.
So, what can Aussie businesses learn from the happiest countries when it comes to employee satisfaction? Benefits, pay and the ability to work remotely are all important factors, but so is a sense of obligation to work hard and contribute to society. Creating a happy workforce is not a one-size-fits-all solution – instead, each country, and each business, has to forge its own unique approach that works for its employees.
If you’re looking to improve your organisation’s employee satisfaction, ChandlerWoods can help. With over 20 years of experience in HR and recruitment, we know what it takes to create a workforce that’s happy, engaged and productive. Contact us today for a free consultation!