Here at TINYpulse, we talk about employee happiness a lot. In fact, our survey asks about it each month. So we’ve learned quite a bit about what a happy employee looks like.
We analyzed the thousands of responses we’ve received, and we’ve pulled out seven factors that are tied very closely to employee happiness.
1. Feeling valued at work
Not surprising, right? Who feels good when they’re unappreciated? Unfortunately, only 21% of employees feel strongly valued at work, so we’ve got a lot of work to do.
Companies should express their excitement to have each and every employee. Each one brings unique experience and skills that matter to your mission. Make sure to clearly communicate an employee’s job duties and why they’re important for the organization as a whole.
2. Quality of workplace culture
Many employees spend over half of their waking hours at work, so why wouldn’t they want to be happy and work at a place with a great work culture? But nearly two-thirds of employees feel they don’t have one.
Your culture sends the message of what you want your company to be. A strong culture that values qualities like teamwork, innovation, or customer service will produce a workforce that puts in the effort to uphold them.
3. Recognition for doing a great job
Don’t dismiss the importance of recognition. It’s not just about handing out gold stars. Globoforce found that 55% of workers would leave their current jobs for a company that clearly recognizes its employee efforts and contributions.
Real recognition is about recognizing the value of their efforts, acknowledging when they hit big goals — and yes, sometimes it is about celebrating their achievements with a (real or figurative) gold star.
(Need some employee recognition ideas?)
4. Satisfaction with colleagues and team members
Yes, you should encourage your employees to be friends at work! Peers are the number one reason they go the extra mile. So if your workforce has strong camaraderie, its members are more likely to support each other with greater effort and higher-quality work.
5. Opportunities for professional growth
There are plenty of reasons that professional growth opportunities are important, but one of the biggest is that not providing them would make 75% of millennials consider leaving their job. And even if you don’t have many millennials on your staff, you should still pay attention, since there are already 80 million of them in the U.S.
6. Performance of direct supervisor
Being a leader is tough. Only half of employees are satisfied with their direct supervisors.
So how do you improve? Practice regular communication with your direct reports, such as regular one-on-one meetings where you can discuss any issues. And solicit feedback frequently, ideally with a survey that gives them the option of anonymity so that they feel safe.
7. Management transparency
You have to put in effort to maintain transparency, and it isn’t easy. Some truths — such as when the company is facing challenges — are tough to share. And sometimes there are limits to what you can share, such as personnel information.
But it’s important to put in the effort. Transparency is worth it, because employee happiness is worth it. It's the key to employee engagement — which makes it the key to your company's success.