A little thought and a little kindness are often worth more than a great deal of money.
~ John Ruskin
Work is a place where employees spend so much time on a daily basis. It takes away most of our thoughts and energies for the day. We also attach our sense of purpose to what we do. All this makes it essential for a workplace to be a happy place.
A healthy work environment also matters to the workforce because employees spend 44 hours on an average of work in one week. That’s almost as much time they spend sleeping in a week! Keeping employees healthy and active is, therefore, a prerequisite these days. Offering employee wellness programs and giving employees that extra option to unwind and relax is what is demanded. This needs to be supported by constant career growth and professional development through training and mentoring, doing work that actually inspires them, having flexible work hours and schedule and the scope for a long vacation.
Companies with happy employees outperform the competition by 20%!
Thankfully, with the rise of social media and a completely new generation of workforce, workplace well being is a badge of honor for companies everywhere. The values and culture of a workplace are transparent, with organizations trying their best to prove how their culture sets them apart. Culture remains as one of the biggest attraction for hiring and retaining new talent and also one of the biggest factors candidates look at when they research about a company. Social media platforms such as Glassdoor can make or break companies on the basis of reviews. The lists LinkedIn and Fortune take out once in a year about the best places to work at are looked at with pride and set benchmarks each and every year for the rest.
Smaller companies have employees who feel more connected to each other, the founders and the goals and visions of the company. This becomes a real challenge when companies grow. With a large number of employees, divisions, and locations, it becomes harder for a purpose-driven company to find ways to ensure everyone is happy, everyone feels valued and recognized. This makes it all the more important to break down employee happiness initiatives into smaller blocks, making each and every manager accountable for achieving a truly engaged workforce.
36% of employees would give up $5000 a year in salary to be happier at work.
Airbnb is one such company that has constantly remained on top of the best companies to work on the list. It ranked #15 on Linkedin’s top 50 companies to work for in 2018. Mark Levy, Global Head of Airbnb’s Employee Experience team shares how employees are a true part of the culture, be it designing their own office spaces, getting long breaks every year to rejuvenate and recharge themselves and also offering employees an integrated life. They believe in letting people do what they love and love what they do. This offers what employees crave for in today’s world – a sense of purpose, development opportunities through training as well as a clear path for advancement.
Fitting into the culture and values that a company upholds is of utmost importance to be able to have a workforce that is engaged. Zappos is another such company that pays heed to this necessity by hiring right. They have a cultural fit interview. New employees are hired for a week and see for themselves if they think they will be a good fit. Employees can train for a week and decide if they actually feel connected to the vision and mission of Zappos or not. If the new employees do not see a connection, they are offered $2000 to quit after the first week of training. The ones that stick after the first week are the true cultural fits. Zappos believes that when the company culture is tunes right, great customer service and a great brand will happen on its own.
There are many more such companies that are achieving the highest standards when it comes to ensuring employee happiness. Just like how companies put thought into building products that provide solutions to customers and make them happy, employee motivation strategies also require deep focus. Employees need a real-world understanding of how their individual contribution impact and touch people’s lives. Make sure you tell them that they matter more often.