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CNBC

CNBC|Momentive Workforce Happiness Index: October 2021

CNBC|Momentive Workforce Happiness Index: October 2021

Half of all workers (50%) say their company is currently understaffed, according to the latest CNBC|Momentive Workforce Survey, while another 42% say their staffing levels are adequate; nearly no one (4%) says they are overstaffed. 

Workers who describe their offices as understaffed are a huge threat to attrition: they are nearly twice as likely as workers with adequate staffing to say they’ve considered quitting their jobs in the last three months (43% vs. 23%).

Overall, one in three workers (33%) say they’ve seriously considered quitting in recent months. 

  • Lower-wage workers are most at risk of walking away: 37% of those making under $50,000, 33% of those making $50,000-$99,999, 29% of those making $100,000-$150,000, and 25% of those making more than $150,000 say they’ve considered quitting in the last three months.
  • By industry, food & beverage (42%), advertising and marketing (39%), and agriculture (39%) have the highest percentages of workers who are considering quitting 
  • Although parents of children under 18 (34%) are no more or less likely than others to say they’ve recently considered quitting, mothers with children under 18 are more likely than fathers with children under 18 to say they’ve considered quitting (37% vs. 32%)

Workers who say their companies are understaffed are less satisfied with their job on several measures:

  • Nearly half (45%) of understaffed workers describe morale at their company as poor or fair, twice the rate among all other workers (22%)
  • 42% of understaffed workers say they are very satisfied with their job, compared with 55% of other workers
  • Just 23% of understaffed workers say they are very well paid, compared with 33% of other workers
  • 25% of understaffed workers say they are less loyal to their company now than before the pandemic, compared with 14% of other workers

In this iteration of the CNBC|Momentive Workforce Survey, we also surveyed 4,807 people who are not currently employed. Of this group, about one in five (21%) say they are currently looking for work. 

Just over half (52%) of those in this group—those in the labor market but not currently employed—say they have worked within the last year. Most (58%) could be convinced to accept a new job if it had the ability to work from home, but many are also looking for a more flexible schedule (52%) or a higher salary (51%). Some want on the job training (32%), a more consistent schedule (30%), or to work fewer hours for the same pay (26%). 

Morale is better now than a year ago, but core employee happiness measures are stable

Most workers describe themselves as either “thriving” (42%) or coasting (39%) these days, and overall the CNBC|Momentive Workforce Happiness Index is steady at a score of 72/100, unchanged from April of this year and November of 2020.

A quarter of workers (25%) say morale among their colleagues is excellent, up from 19% in Q4 2020. 

  • Execs might be a little out-of-touch: 36% describe morale as “excellent,” 10 points higher than individual contributors (26%) and even higher still than among managers (21%), senior managers (19%), and VPs (23%)
  • Workers who have recently been working from the office report nearly identical morale as workers who have been doing their job from home and workers who have had a hybrid model
  • Younger workers report better morale: 37% of 18-24 year-olds, 30% of 25-34 year-olds, 25% of 35-44 year-olds, 20% of 45-54 year-olds, and 18% of 55-64 year-olds report morale as “excellent” at their company; 23% of workers 65+ say morale is “excellent as well

Connection Matters

About three in 10 workers (31%) say they feel more connected to their colleagues now than before the pandemic, but nearly as many (28%) say they feel less connected, and slightly more (37%) say there’s no difference. 

  • Workers who are currently working fully in-person are more likely than others to say they feel more connected to their colleagues now than before the pandemic (34%, vs. 27% among workers doing their jobs fully from home and 28% among hybrid workers)
  • Workers who feel more connected to their colleagues are more likely to describe themselves as thriving (64%, vs. 41% among those who are as connected as before and 24% among those who feel less connected)
  • Workers who feel less connected are nearly twice as likely as others (51% vs. 27%) to say they’ve recently considered quitting
  • They also have significantly better scores on all the measures of workplace happiness

About four in 10 workers (42%) say they feel as loyal to their company as they did before the pandemic; 35% feel more loyal and 19% feel less loyal. 

  • 73% of those who feel more connected with their colleagues also feel more loyal to their company, more than 3X the rates among those who feel less connected (21%) or as connected (18%) to their colleagues

The return to the office continues, albeit slowly

Just 16% of workers say they are now working fully from home, down from 21% in April of this year and from 22% in November of last year. 

Looking ahead six months, only 9% of workers expect to be working fully from home; 60% expect to be working fully from their office or workplace and 17% expect to be working mostly from their office or workplace, while 12% expect to be working mostly from home. 

  • Fathers are more likely than mothers to expect to work from the office full time in six months (67% vs. 58%)
  • As income increases, the percent of workers who expect to work fully from the office decreases (62% of those making under $50K, 63% of those making $50,000-$99,999, 56% of those making $100,000 to $150,000, and 48% of those making over $150,000)
  • By industry, transportation & deliver (76%), automotive (72%), construction (70%), and retail (70%) have the highest rates of in-person work expected six months from now; tech has by far the lowest (27%)

Nearly half (47%) say they expect in-person workers to have better career opportunities at their workplace a year from now, while 16% say remote workers will have better opportunities and 32% say remote and in-person workers will have equal opportunities. Those numbers are unchanged from April.

Most workers say their employer doesn’t require vaccinations, but a majority support President Biden’s employer vaccine mandate

A majority of the workforce (54%) supports President Biden’s mandate that companies with more than 100 employees have all their workers vaccinated against COVID-19. 

  • 27% of Republicans, 53% of independents, and 87% of Democrats support this executive order
  • 52% of those who are currently working fully in-person support the mandate, as do 58% of hybrid workers and 65% of remote workers

Currently, just 37% of workers say their company requires in-person workers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 

  • Healthcare & pharmaceuticals (59%), airlines & aerospace (58%), and advertising & marketing (56%) have the highest percentages of workers who say their company requires vaccinations
  • Construction (20%) and transportation & delivery (20%) are the lowest

Read more about our polling methodology here.

Click through all the results in the interactive toplines below: