How Dallas Companies Stack Up Against the Rest of the Country
Originally published November 12, 2015 by the Dallas Morning News
By Cheryl Hall, Staff Reporter, Dallas Morning News
Four years ago, we asked WorkplaceDynamics to create a “happiness index” — an overall tally of how well Dallas-Fort Worth employees felt their companies live up to 21 statements compared with the results in the other surveyed metro markets.
D-FW has always been in the Top 10. This year, it ranked 7th, up from 8th.
The 81,344 employees surveyed for this year’s Top 100 are a much more positive lot than the national pack. They think their senior managers are clued in. And just as important, they feel their top bosses are good at cluing them in.
So what’s holding us back?
For the second year in a row, people here are growing impatient about their benefits compared with what other companies in their industries are offering. Four in 10 workers are looking for greener pastures, up from 1 in 4 a year ago.
“Given how robust the job market is nationally and in Dallas, that’s not particularly worrisome,” says Doug Claffey, WorkplaceDynamics CEO. “In fact, you might ask why it’s not higher, given how much opportunity is out there. They’re looking more not because the workplace has gotten worse. It’s because the external environment has gotten better.”
Austin came in close behind Dallas — this year at No. 8. San Antonio was 19th, while Houston tanked with the energy industry, dropping from 13th to 26th.
So what metro area is D-FW’s toughest competitor?
Sitting at the top of all 46 metropolitan regions is Nashville.
“Vanderbilt, being an Ivy League of the South, has been a big part of that,” Claffey says. “By some measures as a university [that] is harder to get into than some of the classical top schools. People go to school there, get access to the brain trust and find that Nashville is a good place to live — just like what happened to Boston years ago.
“You get this combination of influx of brains without the headaches of Southern California or Boston, where commutes are long and homes are expensive.
“It’s an up-and-coming region.”
THE HAPPINESS INDEX
Of the 46 greater metro markets WorkplaceDynamics surveyed in the last year, Dallas-Fort Worth ranked No. 7 in terms of overall positive thinking. In 2014, D-FW was the 8th happiest.
4. Orange County
7. Dallas-Fort Worth
9. Minneapolis/St Paul
10. Detroit/Ann Arbor