What Makes Employees Happy?

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Article by Wendy McCance

As a person in their mid 40’s, I have had many different jobs in my lifetime.  Between my own experiences and the experiences of friends and family who have shared their personal experiences, a common theme has emerged.

What really makes an employee happy, content and eager to go to work each day?  Let’s just get money and benefits off the table.  Of course everyone could always use more money and better benefits.  Sure these are parts of the job that make or break your feelings about working for that employer.  Trust me I get it.  I was a former factory worker who made crazy amounts of money and had benefits that at the time were off the charts.  I was willing to work there, but I wasn’t particularly happy.

What I’m talking about is inner peace.  Below is a list of the top traits I believe make a company stand out.  These traits can make a huge difference in the attitudes of the employees who work there.

Traits that make a company stand out and increase the happiness of the employees.

1.  Positive energy

Compliments, encouragement, appreciation and support make a huge difference.  People want to know when they are doing well.  Knowing that you are on the right track and have been recognized for it makes a world of difference.  Having a staff that will support you when you need help without making you feel bad does encourage employees to push through their difficulties.  When you feel like you are a valuable and important part of the team, you are more likely to work better.  You don’t want to let others down.

2.  Treats

It might seem strange, but treats really make a difference.  Bringing in bagels in the morning.  Have pizza during a meeting.  Even a candy dish can make employees feel spoiled.  It’s a nice perk to the job and truly appreciated by employees.

3.  Flexibility

Being able to find time to go to a doctor’s appointment, being able to see your kids in a play or even having the opportunity to stop by the bank make a difference.  Jobs where it is possible to feel as though family life is a priority is so important.  Employees don’t want to feel as though they have to choose between the job and the family.  The stress of disappointing family members because you are always working and can’t ever get a break to put them first is disastrous.  It forces people to decide which is more important.  Many times people will leave a job that doesn’t give them an opportunity for a home life.

4.  Keeping negative energy out of the workplace

Everyone has experienced a person at work that gossips, puts others down or simply complains a lot.  One person can make an environment so toxic.  The person will walk into the room and the entire dynamic changes.  Happiness is sucked out of the room and is replaced by a black cloud of gloom.  Happy environments are places where people are kept in check if they are bringing other employees down.  In one way or another your all still a team.  The team will only have its full potential of success if everyone is on board and pleasant with each other.

5.  Fun

People need to laugh.  A lighter atmosphere makes the day go by faster.  It gets people energized and it helps get rid of stress.  It’s great to be able to shake off boredom, exhaustion and worry with a little fun.  It could be that a company has a ping-pong table or people have goofy items on their desk.  Anything that lightens the mood.  Hell, put guitar hero in the lunchroom.  It would definitely make for a memorable day with lots of laughs.

The bottom line is this.  Every job is different.  There are many places where one of these suggestions just wouldn’t fly.  The idea is that there are ways to keep toxic elements out of the workplace.  The more positive reinforcements that are put into place, the happier the employees will be in at their place of employment.

 

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Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media consultant. Wendy has gained attention as the founder of the popular blog Searching for the Happiness which can be viewed in 9 local papers online, including the Oakland Press. The combination of writing skills and social media knowledge is what makes Wendy such a powerhouse to work with. Stay tuned for opportunities to advertise, guest post and as always, have your questions answered.

To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: mccance.wendy@gmail.com

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8 thoughts on “What Makes Employees Happy?

  1. Pingback: What Makes Employees Happy? « TransitionsTandE

  2. I’ve been in a lot of different corporate environments and seen most of these points in all of them. It varies with type of business, personalities and egos. I’ve learned alot about myself working in corporate and for small businesses with regard to work ethic and relationships.

    To me, I basically learned that there’s a time to listen and learn and a time to speak out (“when to hold them and when to fold them”).

    A different take on this is an interesting book you might be interested in called “Linchpin – Are You Indispensable” by Seth Godin at http://www.squidoo.com/linchpin. Talks about how the world has changed and how the worker and workplaces need to change to keep up with it.

    Thank you Wendy – another interesting post!

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