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What makes you a happy employee?

The third JobCrystal Happiness Indicator takes a look at how salary, level of seniority and location affects how happy South African employees are. Employees earning higher salaries and in more senior positions tend to be the happiest, with employees living away from major metropolitan areas being happier.

1. Salary

Employees earning between R10,000 and R24,999 per month are the least happy, and as income increases employees’ happiness levels rise as well.

‚This unhappy group is likely to consist of young employees who know they have great prospects, but who still need to get some experience under their belts in order to advance in their career.

This level of disgruntlement may point to Millennials’ trademark sense of entitlement, ambition and awareness of their worth,‚ said Kevin Laithwaite, managing director of JobCrystal.

It’s important for companies to realise, however, that even the happy high earners are looking for new opportunities ‚ they know they are marketable and will consider new positions.

JobCrystal: % happy employees by salary band

Salary per month Happy employees*

R10,000 ‚ R24,999 55%

R25,000 ‚ R49,999 58%

R50,000 ‚ R79,999 60%

R80,000 + 63%

*Percentage of employees rating themselves ‚comfortable‚ or ‚happy‚ in their current role when registering on JobCrystal,

2. Job level

The JobCrystal Happiness Indicator shows a distinct trend towards employees with more management responsibility being happier. Senior managers with large teams and executives came out tops in the happiness stakes.

‚It seems likely that the happiness level is linked to how well these senior employees are regarded in the company and how much control, independence and decision making ability they have,‚ said Laithwaite.

Again, the indicator raises a red flag for employers because even though almost two-thirds of senior managers and executives are happy in their roles, they are open to other opportunities.

JobCrystal: % happy employees by job level

Job level Happy employees*

Manage managers (team 20+) 64%

Manage managers (team 10-19) 63%

Executive 62%

Manager (5-9 staff) 60%

Manager (0 staff) 60%

Skilled (2-5 years) 58%

Manager (10+ staff) 57%

Junior (<2 years) 57% Manage managers (team 1-9) 56% Senior (5+ years) 55% Manager (1-4 staff) 53% *Percentage of employees rating themselves ‚comfortable‚ or ‚happy‚ in their current role when registering on JobCrystal, 3. Location, location, location According to the JobCrystal statistics, it appears that your employees are more likely to be happy if they don’t live in a major metropolitan area. Smaller cities such as Richard’s Bay, Durban and East London, have a higher percentage of happy employees than larger cities such as Cape Town and Johannesburg. There could be a range of reasons for this including better work-life balance, less stress and even experiencing less traffic. JobCrystal: % happy employees by location Location Happy employees* KZN: Richards Bay 67% Garden Route including Oudtshoorn 62% KZN: Durban Ethekwini 61% Eastern Cape: East London 60% Gauteng: Pretoria Tshwane 57% Gauteng: Johannesburg, Sandton, Randburg 56% Cape Town: Southern Suburbs 55% East Rand: Ekhuruleni 55% Cape Town: Northern Suburbs 55% West Rand: Mogale, Krugersdorp, Roodepoort 52% *Percentage of employees rating themselves ‚comfortable‚ or ‚happy‚ in their current role when registering on JobCrystal, The first JobCrystal Happiness Indicator, released in April 2010, ( looked at levels of happiness amongst South African employees and found that less than half are happy. The second JobCrystal Happiness Indicator, released in June 2010, ( looked at which South African companies had the happiest employees, and which employers were ranked as the best to work for. The low correlation between the two data sets indicated that even if employees bought into the company culture and values, they also needed to have their individual aspirations met to be happy. The JobCrystal Happiness Indicator data is compiled from the 110,000-strong JobCrystal database of jobseekers. Employees are asked how happy they are in their current position (miserable, frustrated, comfortable, happy) when they register on JobCrystal. One of the ways in which JobCrystal improves the recruitment process and the hiring success rate for companies is by using this and other data to make the best matches between candidates and vacancies. JobCrystal focusses on candidates looking to earn R150,000 per year and more. It charges a flat fee per successful placement, with no upfront charges. Companies including Nashua Mobile, Mr Price, The Ovations Group, Santam and Foschini are using JobCrystal to source candidates.

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