A recent survey suggests good news and not-so-good workforce-related news for senior living operators.

OnePoll surveyed 5,000 people, some of whom worked in healthcare, across seven countries on behalf of workplace operator Mindspace to gauge whether they were happy at work, and why or why not.

Of all seven countries, the United States had the highest percentage of happy workers, at 94%. Generally speaking, the Employee Happiness Survey revealed some important factors that contribute to worker satisfaction.

Having a sense of purpose is a big one. More than 75% of survey respondents who said they were “very happy” at work reported having a strong sense of purpose at their jobs. That’s good news for senior living operators, because the industry offers employees a big opportunity to really make a difference in the lives of residents and their families.

Feeling valued is another important contributor to workplace happiness, according to survey results. Approximately 80% of poll participants said they feel valued at work to some extent, and 90% of happy employees said they feel very valued. In contrast, 80% of people who said they were not happy at work say they did not feel valued.

“From an employer’s perspective, ensuring that people feel valued can certainly pay off,” the report authors wrote. “If employees feel valued, they’re more likely to be happy.”

So time spent ensuring that employees feel valued will be time well spent.

A third factor deemed important for worker happiness is employee engagement.

Overall, 88% of survey-takers said they generally feel engaged in their work. Of very happy people, 99% said they feel somewhat or very engaged in their jobs.

“So, it’s fair to say that happy people are engaged. And engaged people are happy,” the authors said.

For 34% of people who did not feel engaged at work, however, a lack of adequate pay was the reason. That’s some not-so-good news for senior living operators, at least where many direct care positions are concerned.

But engagement wasn’t just about money. Just as many respondents, 35%, said they weren’t engaged because their work environment was “uninspiring.” So there may be other opportunities to engage workers.

To find them, the authors recommend that companies assess employee engagement, noting that 18% of U.S. companies don’t do it.

“It’s hard to work on improving engagement if you don’t know how people feel to begin with,” they wrote.

Sounds like it may be time for a survey of your own.