Being happy isn't just about one aspect of your life, and it isn't just about separating your happiness from your mundane or your work. Having a positive work experience can help in other aspects of your life too. Robert Half is a staffing firm that looks at both employers and employees to make the best matches for both. 

The company did some research on what makes employees happy, and what makes employers happy. In today's economy, workers have a bit of the upper hand, as employers scramble to find people to fill open positions. Retention of employees can be a major problem, so keeping employees happy is becoming a more important piece of the puzzle. Because employees are looking at their levels of engagement, job satisfaction, stress, and interest in their work as part of their overall happiness, it is important for companies to help fulfill some of those needs for their workers. 

In a Robert Half survey, workers said that these were the top three drivers of workplace happiness:

  1. Having pride in one’s organization.
  2. Feeling appreciated for the work that they do.
  3. Being treated with fairness and respect.

How can you assess if your job is making you happy and what can you do to improve it?

  1. Take a step back. Ask yourself if those primary drivers of workplace happiness are present at your job. Do you feel proud of your workplace? Do you feel appreciated for the work that you do? Are you treated with fairness and respect? A lot of this boils down to how we feel about our overall compensation, our company’s culture and values and the opportunities available to us.
  2. Pay attention to your feeling about your job. Being happy at work doesn’t mean every day is perfect or fun. Happiness is more than having fun – it’s feeling a deep sense of connection to your work, using your skills and understanding how your work affects the bottom line. Talk to your manager about getting more involved with projects you really enjoy and see how they respond.
  3. Prioritize your time on and off the clock. Is your company’s organizational culture one that fosters a healthy work-life balance? If you’re feeling burnt out, which a lot of workers lately are reportedly feeling, again, talk to your manager about your workload and see if there are options to telecommute or add some flexibility to your schedule. Maybe working from home during peak commuting hours instead of sitting in traffic can help cut down on your stress, for instance.

So, why should companies care whether their employees are happy or engaged in their work?

  • Satisfied workers are more productive and make tangible contributions to the company’s bottom line. Happy workers are good for business.
  • Most businesses naturally want their employees to be happy, but they may not know how to go about increasing happiness levels.

Here are some tips Robert Half shared on how companies can help their employees feel happier at work:

  • Focus on the fundamentals. Having pride in your organization is much more important than having a game room at work or a free lunch. Those are nice perks, but don’t make up for dull work or a terrible corporate culture.
  • Instill and re-instill pride. Remind employees of the “big picture” continuously to fuel pride in the organization. What does your firm do that makes life easier or better for people? What are you doing to help the community? What awards/accolades/positive feedback has the firm received? Remind your team about why your company is a great place to work. Demonstrate those values in your interactions with your employees.
  • Consider the individual. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to increasing the happiness of your staff. While one employee may need a more flexible schedule, another worker may require a compressed workweek or the ability to work from home a couple days a week. Meet with your workers one-on-one and discuss what you can offer.
  • Go the extra mile. Retention is so important for employers right now and, in some cases, it can make sense to go the extra mile for a valuable employee who might not be as engaged/happy. From offering a simple gesture of appreciation like a gift card to providing your staff with more work-life balance options, there are many ways to increase workplace happiness that are low-cost or even no-cost.

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