Oil and gas workers are Canada’s happiest employees—when they can find work

Despite the bleak outlook in their industries, energy and mining workers report high levels of job satisfaction

Workers in the oil and gas sector in Canada reported higher levels of job satisfaction than other sectors, according to a new survey compiled by recruitment firm Hays Canada.
According to the report, 27 per cent of employees in the energy industry felt “very happy” in their current role. This was significantly higher than banking (19 per cent), public sector (21 per cent) construction (15 per cent) and information technology (14 per cent). Another interesting finding: mining workers also reported higher-than-average satisfaction, with a combined total of 59 per cent claiming to be “somewhat happy” or “very happy.” Across all sectors, about 53 per cent of workers reported contentment in their current role.
“Ironically, oil and gas, and mining are happier industries even though they are going through a difficult time right now,” says Jim Fearon, VP of Western Canada operations for Hays. He says that people who choose to work in those industries recognize that they will likely end up in a remote location, but they accept the disruption to their lives because they are well compensated. “I think that if there’s a feeling of, ‘I’m here because I want to be,’ then that creates more happiness.”
The report also took on the tenuous definition of workplace “fit.” While the most cited reason that people leave a job or lose a job is because of a poor “fit,” most employers and employees struggle to articulate what that means. Over half of survey respondents admitted to having hired someone when they knew the person was not a good “fit,” and these hires eventually resulted in dismissals at a cost to the organization of $10,000 to $50,000.
The report identified four factors that can be used to define “fit”: work ethic, social behavior, office conformity and the ability to connect with a team’s working style. “It’s a difficult thing to assess, but everyone can figure out the core factors that are going to be right for you,” said Fearon. “The closer you get to those core factors, the happier you’re going to be in your job.”

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