Employee happiness – What makes a company great to work for?
Every year, various business magazines will come out with a list of companies that have been voted the best to work for by their employees. The companies that come out on top of the list usually share quite a few features in common, more than good coffee in the break room.
Although each unique person will have different criteria as to what the best working environment would be, a few things seem to be universal. The best companies to work for will follow a certain template and will be somewhat alike in their attitudes towards their employees. Essentially, rather than the old cliché of the angry boss and the uninspired worker, these companies have employees that are excited and eager to excel in their jobs and who feel emotionally engaged and attached to the company. Here are some of the characteristics that the best workplaces have in common. Does your workplace fit in with these descriptions?
More than ever, workers are looking for flexibility in the workplace. They want to have versatile routines that allow them the freedom to carry out their work tasks in a way that suits them. Many workers are pushing for the ability to work from home or to work from remote locations, which mean that they will spend less time commuting to the office, be less distracted and might even be more productive. This can be advantageous for employers as well, because it means that there is no need for an office space or supplies.
Flexibility also means recognizing that employees have a life outside of the workplace. Giving them enough time off for holidays and providing them with a work schedule that allows them to spend time with their families is very important. A motivated worker might sacrifice their social life, family life or personal needs for the company for some time, but after a while, they will become burnt out, will not perform well and will be very likely to quit and seek greener pastures.
It has been shown that employees are happier and more productive when time and energy is spent educating them, training them and improving their skills. Having development programs in the workplace is a very desirable thing for many employees, as it tells them that the company values them enough to invest in their improvement.
Some of the best companies to work for are always helping their employees to learn and grow, which keeps them interested and engaged in their jobs. Continuous learning can also help employees to do their job better and to tackle bigger challenges.
When you feel like your efforts are not being appreciated, it is hard not to become discouraged and want to give up. A lack of employee recognition is not only making your employees unhappy, it is also affecting your customers. A disgruntled employee is less likely to go out of his or her way to provide excellent customer service and might even be rude or dismissive to the customer as a way of taking out their anger towards you. This can be one of the quickest ways to destroy the brand you have built up for your business, so ensure that your employees are treated respectfully and get the recognition they deserve.
Employee recognition means making sure that your workers know that you appreciate them for what they are doing right. This helps people to care about what they are doing as they feel like their contributions are noticed. This can be one of the most powerful motivators and it is incredibly simple to do.
These are just a few characteristics that many of the best companies to work for have in common. The theme seems to be that you get what you put in and if you give your employees the recognition, flexibility and education that they desire, they will give it back to you tenfold in their motivation, performance and creativity.
Carlo Pandian is a business graduate and writer interested in B2B Marketing, human resources and organisational behaviour. He also writes tutorials on Intuit QuickBooks Payroll software and other small business tools.