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Happy in HR? Many People Are, Study Shows

Study ranks top companies and industries for worker satisfaction

A group of business people shaking hands at a meeting.

​Human resources, education, tax consulting and information technology all top the list of fields in which workers report they are most happy, according to a report released in September from Monster, an online job board, and kununu, an online employment review platform.

Monster and kununu partnered to create the Workplace Happiness Index, which was developed from an analysis of more than 500,000 employee rankings and reviews posted on kununu and an analysis of job postings from Monster. The two companies used 18 dimensions of workplace satisfaction to identify the companies and industries with the highest levels of worker happiness. They also ranked companies by how satisfied workers were with work/life balance and by how much pride employees took in their work there.  

"It's fascinating to see which industries and companies are excelling in areas that are important to today's workers," said Moritz Kothe, CEO of kununu. "It's up to employers to take this feedback into consideration as they compete for talent in an ever-evolving marketplace."

[SHRM members-only toolkit: Developing and Sustaining Employee Engagement]

Among the dimensions that the two companies considered when making their rankings were leadership support, teamwork, autonomy, communication, equality, career development, challenging work, inclusivity, compensation and benefits, work/life balance, and attitude toward colleagues 45 and older.

Top 10 Companies for Worker Satisfaction

The winners cross the industrial spectrum—from a printing company to a fast food chain:

  1. Omni Systems Inc.—an IT services firm with locations in Bahamas, Georgia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Virginia and Trinidad.
  2. Berkshire Hathaway—multinational conglomerate.
  3. REI—outdoor sports retailer.
  4. Progressive—insurance company.
  5. Kaiser Permanente Insurance Company.
  6. United States Army.
  7. TJX Companies—apparel and home goods company.
  8. In-N-Out Burger.
  9. Delta Air Lines Inc.
  10. Wawa Inc.—convenience store chain.

Top 10 Industries for Worker Satisfaction

Fields that came out on top include human resources, market research and education.

  1. Tax consulting/auditing.
  2. Human resources/staffing and resources.
  3. Consulting.
  4. Information technology and services/network security.
  5. Research and development/sciences.
  6. Arts/culture/entertainment.
  7. Internet/media.
  8. Purchasing.
  9. Market research.
  10. Primary and secondary education/higher education/e-learning.

Top 10 Companies for Work/Life Balance

Companies offering the best accommodations for work/life balance included a tax preparation company and a major airline.

1.  REI.

2.  Berkshire Hathaway.

3.  Johnson & Johnson.

4.  Chevron Corporation.

5.  H&M—clothing stores.

6.  TJX Companies.

7.  H&R Block Services Inc.

8.  Delta Air Lines Inc.

9.  In-N-Out Burger.


Top 10 Companies for Pride in Work

Those companies where employees most felt pride in their work included the military and insurance companies.

1.  Omni Systems Inc.

2.   United States Marine Corps.

3.   United States Army.

4.   Procter & Gamble.

5.   Progressive.

6.   Delta Air Lines Inc.

7.   Aldi—grocery stores

8.   USAA—insurance, banking and investment provider for military families

9.   Wawa Inc.

10. Allstate Insurance.

"These lists highlight the power of employer brand for both candidates and companies," said Chris Cho, chief product officer for Monster. "Companies that focus on how they are perceived by candidates and employees see positive improvements in the number and quality of applicants, not to mention increased employee engagement."

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