So the Wall Street Journal and Bamboo HR put out a great eNPS survey of 1,600 companies, a large part of them in tech.

They found:

  • Comp is higher
  • Work-life balance is better
  • Benefits spending has gone up 20%
  • More freedom

And yet:

  • Employees are the unhappiest they’d been at least since 2020, and probably longer
  • 34% of employees now dread the start to the workday — up from 11% in 2020 (!)

This is what I’ve certainly observed.  Paying more hasn’t really even helped much.  And work from home and hybrid may be valued, but it doesn’t seem to make folks happier than we used to be.

The OpenAI board coup.  Elon yelling at his advertisers.  Is anyone happy these days?

The data also suggested the newest hires are the least happy, also what I’ve seen.

I don’t have any great suggestions, or magic answers.  In many ways, I’ve struggled with this myself.  The old playbook of pay well and provide a lot of autonomy and ownership still works.  Just not as well.

Perhaps it’s all just part of the 3+ year rollercoaster of change we’ve all been on.

One thing the WSJ points out is that many employees now see their roles as increasingly transactional.  That seems to be my experience.  You’ve got to hunt for the Pirates & Romantics.  The ones that really want it, to be part of something great, for real.

And 200+ (!) great comments on this post on Linkedin here.

And a related post here:

Dear SaaStr: Does Paying Higher Salaries Increase Employee Retention?

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