Why You Whistle While You Work

New survey says construction workers are some of the happiest employees

It’s easy to be distracted with all the tension surrounding the highway bill and transportation funding and forget that we work in a really amazing industry.

One thing I’ve learned in the 21 years I’ve been writing for this industry is that construction workers are hardworking, dedicated, invested, enthusiastic … and happy. Despite long hours and sometimes tough working conditions, they genuinely seem to be enjoying themselves.

Indeed, TINYpulse's 2015 Best Industry Ranking report, gathered from its anonymous one-question feedback surveys from over 30,000 employees across more than 500 organizations, found among 12 distinct industries, construction workers are the happiest employees.

Why are construction workers happier? The folks at TINYpulse suggest taking a closer look at what actually drives workplace satisfaction and what makes people unhappy.

The TINYpulse surveys revealed the top three issues standing in the way of happy employees were:

  1. Managers who aren’t supportive
  2. Not having the tools to succeed
  3. No opportunity for professional growth

But there’s more to a happy worker than sensitive supervisors, the right tools and numerous rungs on a ladder. One of the top reasons for job satisfaction is a good relationships with colleagues. The TINYpulse survey found that 34% of the happiest employees say their peers and colleagues are what drive their workplace satisfaction.

This news comes as the construction industry is reaching the highest employment total since February 2009 -- dropping construction's unemployment rate to 9.8%, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America. AGC says that most construction firms reported they plan to hire this year but are concerned about growing shortages of qualified workers.

"Construction firms appear ready to add jobs this year at the fastest rate in a decade," says Stephen E. Sandherr, AGC's chief executive officer. "But those employment gains depend on finding new ways to expose and prepare high school students for high-paying careers in construction."

There are plenty of ways to expand your skill set in this industry. AGC has some great training - check out agc.org/learn/education-training - for some ideas. Don't forget to partner with your suppliers; many offer opportunities for you to improve your abilities. And if you're motivated and have a supportive company, you can go as high as you'd like on that company ladder.

Let me know why you love your job - or why you don't. You can find us on social media on Twitter @AsphltContractr or on Facebook at facebook.com/Asphalt.Contractor. You can also email me your thoughts at lcleaver@acbusinessmedia.com.

Thanks for reading!