In a recent study published by BambooHR, a concerning trend in employee happiness is revealed. According to the report, employee happiness hit a record low in June 2023, marking a complete 180 degree turn from the all-time high experienced in April 2020 during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This decline in happiness is not just a fleeting change but a reflection of the ongoing health and economic challenges that continue to affect the American workforce.
The guide reveals that in April 2020, the Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS), a metric used to measure employee satisfaction and loyalty, spiked to 45 as employees felt grateful for employment amidst a soaring unemployment rate. However, this sense of gratitude has since fallen, with the eNPS plummeting to 37 by June 2023.
This drop is attributed to the long-term effects of the pandemic — including the widespread impact of long COVID, which affects approximately 65 million people with symptoms that can hinder work performance and overall well-being.
Additionally, the guide points out that despite real wages rising faster than inflation for the first time in over two years, a significant portion of Americans, or 61%, are still living paycheck to paycheck, and 21% are struggling to pay their bills. This financial strain, stacked with the lingering health issues, contributes to the declining trend in employee happiness.
As businesses and organizations navigate post-pandemic recovery, the well-being of employees has emerged as an important factor for attraction and retention efforts. The trend of declining happiness suggests that employers should prioritize employee support and engagement strategies in the future. This includes addressing factors like financial security, mental health, and work-life balance, all of which could play an important role in reversing the downward trend in employee happiness.