5 Surprising Factors in Workplace Happiness

factors of workplace happiness

5 Key Elements of Employee Fulfillment

  • Meaningful Roles
  • Team Atmosphere
  • Work-Life Balance
  • Being Appreciated
  • Growth Opportunities

In 2017, the employee resource Glassdoor revealed its findings on the key factors in workplace happiness. Surprisingly, for most job seekers, the prime concern isn’t net pay. Other job aspects carry more weight. Among 615,000 employee reviews, this was the overall consensus.

In the experience of industrial-organizational psychologists, company success hinges on staff fulfillment. Compared to bored and frustrated employees, people who love their jobs are more:

  • resourceful
  • creative
  • productive
  • dedicated

In the long run, job satisfaction slows staff turnover. Here are five criteria present on the average employee wish list.

1. Meaningful Roles

Generally, job meaning is found in having a favorable impact on people or situations. When employees see positive results from their work, they gain a strong sense of purpose. Some people are most comfortable in assistive roles, contributing to a group effort. Others work best independently. Then, there are natural leaders, gifted in motivating and guiding others.

Vested staff members align themselves with the mission and goals of their employer. Even if workers aren’t especially zealous, they can still find purpose in their roles. For example, they can view their job as a career stepping stone, a chance to hone certain skills.

In some cases, people feel called to a particular vocation. Through this personal connection to work, all tasks have merit, even those that are rather mundane. Additionally, a job can feel worthwhile if it channels a person’s strengths. In this regard, collaborative projects can draw out individual talent. They can also forge camaraderie.

2. Team Atmosphere

In many office settings, employees are isolated in cubicles or behind partitions. With these layouts, ongoing communication is vital for keeping staff connected. Also conducive to teamwork is a policy of transparency. Studies show that when a company openly discloses its business operations, the action implies integrity, earning staff trust.

Supportive relationships create a pleasant work setting, one that invites collaboration. Employees who pool their efforts feel united. Even when a job is steeped in challenges, reciprocation among coworkers eases stress. Plus, solidarity makes employees more efficient and productive.

Ideally, supervisors should be approachable and receptive, intent on maintaining the welfare of their team. When a boss demonstrates this priority, employees are likely to give their all, moved by such devoted leadership.

A team spirit elevates employee morale. If an industrial-organizational psychologist finds motivation lacking, they may suggest fun team-building events, such as scavenger hunts and escape rooms.

3. Work-Life Balance

Overworked staff members are vulnerable to chronic stress. For optimal health, everyone needs time to pursue:

  • leisure activities
  • socialization
  • personal interests

A continued pattern of long workdays can lead to:

  • poor digestion
  • hypertension
  • nagging aches
  • depression
  • severe anxiety
  • insomnia

Additionally, burnout makes errors more prevalent.

Employers have numerous ways to promote work-life balance. Gaining popularity are:

  • telecommuting
  • extended maternity leave
  • granting plenty of paid time off

In some situations, family emergencies are best handled by a job-protected leave of absence.

Parents of young children appreciate being able to work around school hours. With flextime, employers can set weekly hours but let workers customize their schedules to meet them. Another means to work-life balance is job sharing.

Some companies arrange social events to which families are invited, such as:

  • picnics
  • bowling
  • baseball games

Another option is providing paid time off to participate in charity events and volunteer projects. During the workday, exercise works wonders at melting tension! Progressive businesses are:

  • installing onsite gyms
  • hosting fitness classes
  • organizing lunchtime walking clubs

Related Resource: What Are Psychomotor Skills?

4. Being Appreciated

Among the essential factors in workplace happiness is feeling valued. Excellent work deserves recognition. When a supervisor is blessed with a stellar workforce, they can get lax in the praise department. As a result, staff motivation wanes.

To stay impassioned, prized workers need periodic applause. While written performance reviews are helpful, they should be supplemented by verbal kudos and tangible rewards.

Employees especially value:

  • hand-written thank-you notes
  • reserved parking spots
  • restaurant gift cards
  • catered brunches for the team

Extroverted workers may enjoy being profiled in the company newsletter or featured on the cafeteria bulletin board. Most women delight in fresh bouquets. Men love tickets to sporting events. Large companies with ample budgets might offer:

  • prize drawings
  • lunches at a country club
  • paid gym memberships

Note that being valued enhances job meaning. This article by Inc. reveals why employee recognition is among the core factors in workplace happiness.

5. Growth Opportunities

High achievers in dead-end jobs will find better alternatives. Ambitious workers thrive on:

  • gaining knowledge
  • acquiring new skills
  • upward mobility
  • seeing their income grow

Consequently, among the crucial factors in workplace happiness is advancement potential.

Companies have many options for ensuring career development. Large firms may fund attendance at offsite:

  • conferences
  • seminars
  • workshops
  • continuing education courses

Or they might host onsite training. For employees wishing to earn degrees, tuition reimbursement is a dream come true!

Companies on tight budgets can offer lateral moves and job rotations. With a “stretch assignment,” a willing worker is given a challenging task by which they can expand their skill set. Examples of stretch assignments are:

  • overseeing an intern
  • leading a creative project
  • organizing a company event
  • reviving a stale initiative

Among Millennials, ages 23-38, mentoring is well-received. This involves pairing a seasoned staff member with an employee who can benefit from their expertise. Typically, a mentor is someone with a gift for teaching and coaching.:

  • a senior executive
  • supervisor
  • team leader

Here, The Balance Careers describes various ways mentors can facilitate employee adjustment and growth.

Beaming Employees

Five requisite factors in workplace happiness are:

  • meaningful roles
  • a team atmosphere
  • work-life balance
  • being appreciated
  • having growth opportunities

Companies with flagging teams hire industrial-organizational psychologists to boost job appeal and employee satisfaction.

To do this, such specialists first evaluate:

  • employee morale
  • work styles
  • productivity
  • sources of conflict

Then they use proven research and psychological principles to create positive change. The educational requirement for this career is a master’s degree in psychology or social work.

Through the expertise of industrial-organizational psychologists, work is no longer grueling but fun!

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