South Africa has some of the happiest workers in the world

South Africa has the 5th happiest professional workforce in the world, according to a new study by Universum.

The study us the biggest and first of its kind, according to Universum, surveying more than 250,000 professionals in 55 markets across the world.

The index is based on employee satisfaction in their current job, the likelihood of recommending their current employer, and their states sense of job loyalty.

“Essentially, the index offers a country-by-country barometer of the workplace health of that market’s talent pool and an excellent benchmark by which individual employers can map their own employees’ sense of satisfaction and loyalty,” Universum said.

South Africa’s professional workforce is described as fulfilled, meaning that employees are satisfied and feel positive about the companies that they work for. They are stable and loyal.

Belgium was ranked as the country with the happiest workers, followed by Norway, Costa Rica and Denmark ahead of South Africa.

Top 10 countries with the happiest workers

# Country Score
1 Belgium 33.41
2 Norway 32.32
3 Costa Rica 31.98
4 Denmark 31.53
5 South Africa 31.51
6 Austria 30.40
7 Switzerland 30.35
8 Greece 30.31
9 Czech Republic 30.00
10 Russia 29.93
Satisfaction grid
Satisfaction grid (click to enlarge)

Looking at the global data, legal service employees are the happiest workers overall, with the aerospace and defense, education and science, insurance and technology sectors also full of happier workers.

On the other side of the coin, the healthcare, media and advertising, tourism, engineering and retail sectors have the unhappiest workers.

Universum said that measuring happiness among employees serves as an early warning system for an organization, and companies should focus on how to narrow the “happiness gap” that makes employees feel differently from their peers.

This would help companies retain vital talent – or help identify problematic employees who may be upsetting the balance of the workplace.

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South Africa has some of the happiest workers in the world