Should Just Having A Job Make Us Happy?
What makes people happy with their jobs? The answer may surprise you. The top five things people want from their jobs are flexible work schedules, location, company culture, professional growth opportunities, and recognition/acknowledgment (not necessarily in that order). Workers will actually take cuts to salary in order to find a great fit. I know I did and I am sure several others have as well.
Flexibility Pays More
Having a flexible job is more important than title to some people and others believe it is healthier. I recently dropped weekly hours in restaurant management to gain flexibility as a church secretary. This means that if I have a sick child, I can be home. If I get sick myself, I do not have to worry about being reprimanded for missing work and can make up the hours by starting the day earlier or staying later. I am much happier, and so is my family. I can say now that I love my job, whereas before I dreaded having to leave for work.
Where You Work
Location and commute is increasing in importance as well. If someone has to spend half of their pay on travel expenses, they certainly could consider going elsewhere. Telecommuting has become quite popular over the years; a savings of over two thousand dollars can be had just by working from home one day a week. Because of this home office trend, several companies are adding pools or free lunches to their amenity list in hopes of enticing workers to stay.
It’s All About the People
Working with like-minded people in a great environment is more important than salary to most people. Workers need to be engaged and motivated – if the company culture is good; people are more likely to be happy in their jobs. The restaurant where I previously worked employed mostly teenagers – I am a wife and mother so I felt like I was the “odd one out” most of the time. It was not an enjoyable career for me.
Growing a Career
If people feel like they have no chance of career growth or personal learning, they could feel stuck. Workers need to work to their strengths in order to feel like they are worth something. Everyone likes to feel good about their selves, so when a boss neglects to comment on good work or acknowledge them, they could harbor resentment. Just as people need to feel valued and that they matter in their personal relationships, they need the same from their professional ones. Employee recognition is believed to reduce voluntary turnover; there is nothing worse than working your tail off and not getting recognized for it.
What the Stats Say
The proof is in the recent Gallup poll: productivity was doubled by engaged, happy employees and U.S. businesses lost approximately three hundred billion dollars annually due to lost productivity. Employers should take the above mentioned things into consideration if they want to keep their employees satisfied.