Know What Makes for a Happy Workplace? It Might Not Be What You Think It Is

Posted December 21, 2018

Work happiness matters.

Yet studies show that around 53% of American’s simply aren’t happy at their current jobs. Contrary to what a majority of employers believe, job happiness isn’t dependant on pay alone (Only about 12% of employees leave their company in search of more money and 36% of unhappy employees would happily take a pay cut of $5K every year for greater happiness).

Seventy-nine percent of people who either quit or seek new opportunities do so for lack of appreciation.

(Translation: they are unhappy.)

While happiness on the job can sometimes feel like a hit or miss, it certainly isn’t based on random chance. This is good news because it means you can take an active approach to find a job where you can be happy.

But why does happiness at work actually matter? Well, happy employees tend to be healthy employees who take fewer sick days. It also significantly boosts productivity by up to 20% (driving 37% more sales among happy salesmen). And, well, you feel happy and fulfilled. And that alone is enough reason to pursue on-the-job happiness.

To help you on your happiness journey, we do an annual review of the top companies to see how they fare on the Happiness scale. Companies like Total Quality Logistics, Keller Williams Realty, Johnson & Johnson and Google make up just a few of the Happiest Companies in America 2019 list. But what makes them great places to work over others?

The happiness factor

It turns out there are several factors that help determine whether employees will be happy or end up looking for another job soon after being hired. And there are plenty of clues to guide you in your job search to avoid being the one who starts today and quits tomorrow.

Want to improve your chances of happiness at work? Here are just a few on-the-job happiness factors that you should look for as you seek a new place of employment (or measure them against your current job).

Well-treated employees

Employee appreciation, recognition and dignity go hand in hand. Feeling valued by your employer and your team really can improve your chances at happiness. So when looking for a job, learn as much as you can about perks and benefits, management and styles, and how other employees feel they are viewed and treated at work. If you can, talk to current employees about how well they feel heard and able to share their thoughts. Managers with Open Door policies are a good indication that you matter. Don’t forget to check out our BlissScore ratings for Happiest Companies in America for 2019.

Integrated and successful CEO

What makes the best CEO? Glassdoor found that high-ranking CEOs are effective leaders with an entrepreneurial spirit--that is, they have passion, a mission and a vision and they’re focused on moving steadily toward it. They invest in their company culture because they know that it really matters for employee happiness, customer loyalty and company success. These CEOs don’t lock themselves away from everyone else. They tend to make their name known inside and outside the company, even while being completely down-to-earth. Nobody likes the overbearing, dictator type! Learn as much as you can about the CEO and how he leads his company before you start a new job. Also, check to see if there are any LinkedIn recommendations for the CEO to help you understand what working under them might be like.

Your coworkers

The people you surround yourself with on a day-to-day basis can have a major impact on how you feel at work and in life. People with petty or negative attitudes can really drag down everyone around them. Eventually, work can start to feel like a hostile space where you just don’t want to be--and that is a really fast path to the dissolution of happiness. Try to get a sense for the culture and the kind of people that work at a company and be honest with yourself if you will (or want to) fit in. If it’s not the right fit for you, trust us; there are happier places to work.

The way you work (and the person you work for)

If you prefer a more hands-off managerial approach, and a job you’re exploring is managed by (wait for it) the micromanager (or vice versa) you should think twice before pursuing or accepting that job. It will be difficult to flourish and feel like you’re contributing anything of value if your work style and the person you work with/for don’t mesh. Learn as much as you can about the management and what the style is before you take the job. Then be honest with yourself about whether you’ll be happy working under such a manager.

Growth opportunities

Nothing can make you feel stuck in a rut and dissatisfied like finding out that there’s nothing to look forward to or grow toward in your current role. When interviewing with companies, be sure to as what types of growth opportunities they have. Find out the career path that most people take after being hired in your prospective role. If it sounds like a stagnant job, you might want to pass it up, unless you’re just doing it for experience before you move on.

Benefits and perks

For most people, winning a recognition trophy just doesn’t cut it. Only about 42% of employees who receive rewards are happy with them. If you want to feel compensated beyond the paycheck and proverbial pat on the back for all your hard work, read up on company benefits and perks. Great medical care, paid volunteer days, travel/vacation stipends, ongoing education or sleep pods may be exactly the type of thing you need in your work life to blaze happily through the year(s) ahead.

photo of The CareerBliss Team

The CareerBliss Team

CareerBliss cares about your career happiness. That's why we offer a variety of great tools and resources to help you make better-informed career decisions. We believe that if you're happier at work, you'll be happier in life! Check out company reviews, salary information, career advice and, of course, millions of jobs on CareerBliss and choose happy today!

Other Articles Written by The CareerBliss Team

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