All employees want to be happy at work. From the frontline worker to the CEO, job satisfaction can be predicted by the same factors – supportive and respectful leadership, recognition for efforts, opportunities for growth, and an organizational culture that supports well-being and aligns with key values.
Salary is still an important factor to many individuals, particularly with recent economic disruptions and cost of living inflation, but it is no longer the top predictor of job satisfaction. According to Gallup’s latest State of the Workplace Report, the number one predictor is alignment with organizational values and culture.
So what is the Happiness Factor? It’s cultural alignment!
There is no one specific version of organizational values or organizational culture that is the “best” for achieving employee satisfaction. What makes people happy is alignment itself – their organization supports the same value system and the growth goals of that individual.
For some, this may look like a series of “job hopping” changes on a resume while they search for that perfect alignment. For others, it may mean that a long-term career is forced to shift as a cultural change breaks their previous alignment.
The last few years have seen a shift in the culture surrounding mental health – and mental health discussions in the workplace. Many individuals are now prioritizing jobs that are not only supportive of their work but take a holistic approach to support both physical and mental well-being.
So why should employee happiness and mental health matter to employers? The answer is simple. Happier employees not only stick around for longer, which reduces attrition costs, but they are also 16% more productive. Furthermore, happy employees care about the work they do, and when employees care more, they can innovate, create, and perform at higher levels. This means your company can better overcome challenges and can even see an increase in profits.
There are several things you can do to achieve happiness for your current and future employees:
- Create a good physical work environment ensuring that employees have high-quality natural light, comfortable temperatures, and fresh air. Most importantly, employees should have everything they need to do their work safely and comfortably.
- Set goals. Employees want to have a clear trajectory for growth and stability at work. Consistent communication of the organizational goals and clear, meaningful individual goals can build engagement and drive productivity. However, explaining why an employee’s work is essential and how it contributes to the bigger picture is the top driver of employee engagement.
- Trust your employees. Trust that you have followed the best hiring practices, onboarded candidates successfully, and provided them with continuous opportunities for learning and growth. Then, give your employees autonomy, allowing them to use their skills, creativity, and perspective to reach company goals.
- Recognize their work. Recognition for hard work has consistently been of the top drivers of job satisfaction for years, and that is not likely to change. Simply recognizing hard work increases employees’ performance and work quality, job satisfaction, engagement, and retention.
- Hire for Cultural Fit. When you hire for a solid organizational culture fit from the start, employees will be the happiest. Ensuring critical areas of values and beliefs overlap ensures that employees are fully engaged and driven to innovate and thrive within your organizational culture.