19 Feb

Are You Happy at Work?

Kasi Kinnett, Intern

Recently Mashable.com published an article about keeping employees happy. It seems that employees are 70 percent more likely to search for a new job after returning from vacation than any other time. Why is this a negative, and how can this be lessened?

When employees are not happy not only does it affect the morale of the workplace and the productivity, but replacing that unhappy employee once they leave costs the company money. In addition, I have observed several friends unhappy with their positions and they will find any excuse to not go into work. A slight cough, it may snow, they stayed out too late the night before and didn’t care? They’re not going in to work. When the environment starts to get polluted the productive employees will look elsewhere for a job and so begins a downward spiral for the company.

So what makes employees happy? There have been many compilations of ways to keep employees happy over the years. Some factors change and some stay consistent, but there is one that can be found on every list: employees should have a sense of ownership.

Work should not just be a place that employees come to but a company that they believe in and are invested in its success. This begins with hiring the right people. Do their goals align with the company mission? Is this company or brand something that they value in their personal life? For example, if you’re hiring for a marketing company position, does this person actively engage in social media, write a personal blog, are they excited by the latest marketing trends? Starting with the right employees is important. Allowing employees to create personalized work spaces, giving as well as receiving feedback, encouraging bonding of employees through events that are work-related (or not) all contribute to this. Also, employees should feel ownership over the work that they are doing. Micromanagement is the enemy of this. We have all had that job, where at every turn you are stopped and questioned. Employees are hired as competent members of a team and when they are treated as such and allowed to handle and solve problems as they arise, they are invested in the work that they do.

Workplace happiness is more important than ever. A recent New York Times article describing a formula for happiness, mentioned work as one of the four basic values of happiness. When employees spend so much time in an environment they want what they are doing to be something of value. By creating ownership you create happy employees.


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