S'pore workers 'under happy' at work; those in local SMEs happier than MNCs: Survey

The survey found that Singapore workers agreed most with the statement "I am confident in doing my job" and least with the statement "I like how things work in my company". -- PHOTO: ST FILE
The survey found that Singapore workers agreed most with the statement "I am confident in doing my job" and least with the statement "I like how things work in my company". -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A survey has found that Singapore workers are "under happy" in the workplace, chalking up an average score of 59 out of 100 in a workplace happiness index.

Under the survey's bandings, an index of between 0 and 50 is considered "Unhappy"; 51 and 67 "Under Happy"; and 68 and 100 "Happy". Singapore Human Resources Institute and consulting firm Align Group released the survey findings on Tuesday.

The survey asked more than 5,000 Singapore workers to rate 28 statements like "I like how things work in my company", "I am satisfied with the salary for my job" and "I am confident in doing my job" on a seven-point scale of strongly agree to strongly disagree.

It found that Singapore workers agreed most with the statement "I am confident in doing my job" and least with the statement "I like how things work in my company".

Those from voluntary welfare organisations came out tops in workplace happiness, scoring an average of 64.6 on the index. Workers in local small and medium enterprises ranked second, scoring an average of 60.3. They came out "happier" than those in the public service or Fortune 500 multi-national companies, who scored 60.2 and 57.1 respectively.

"It could be because those from local SMEs have a sense of autonomy and they feel like they can influence the direction of the company," said managing director of Align Group Low Boon Seong.

Those in education and social service type jobs were most happy at their workplaces while those in financial services and logistics were the least happy, the survey also found.

These in education and social services jobs could be happier because they are motivated by a strong sense of purpose in the jobs. Those in financial services and logistics could be less happy due to strong competition in their workplaces, said Mr Low.

The national workplace happiness survey is the first of its kind in Singapore and no equivalent comparisons from foreign countries were available, he added.

Survey findings also showed that happiness drivers are not universal. Women workers, for example, said a fair and inclusive workplace was important to their workplace happiness, while Generation Y workers favoured positive emotions, such as encouragement from their bosses at work.

kashc@sph.com.sg