What makes for a happy workplace? If you look at the results of recent surveys, you won't come away with a clear answer. But one thing is clear: The happier you are at work, the more likely you won't be looking for another job. And it appears that the higher your salary, the more likely you're planning to stick around.
A survey of 2,000 U.S. workers by workforce services provider Hudson and independent research firm Rasmussen Reports found that about 5 of every 7 employees (72%) would recommend their companies as good places to work, up 10% from a previous survey in 2005. But tucked under that bit of good news for employers are these warning shots:
The less a person earns, the less happy he or she is with the company. Most of the survey respondents said their companies value them as employees, and make conscious efforts to keep them happy so they don't leave. But those who earn less than $40,000 a year are more likely to answer otherwise.
- Less happiness = more likely to be looking elsewhere. Employees who are actively seeking new jobs are less likely to be happy with their current employers and more likely to answer that their employers aren't bending over backwards to keep the hired help happy.
- Retention strategy? What's that?!?! The first baby boomer just applied for a Social Security pension. Expect a lot more of that, which will make it tougher on companies to fill job roles as these new retirees begin their long, slow fade into the sunset. But 75% of managers surveyed said they're not aware of formal employee retention strategies at their companies. If these companies haven't begun to think about how to hang onto their hired help and the experience and institutional memory they provide, they need to, by looking at the things that can keep their workers happy. That ranges from compensation and benefits to management climate, work culture, opportunities for advancement, and work-life balance, which is a much higher priority among employees than employers, according to a recent survey by recruiting and staffing company Spherion.
Given all this, think about the degree of happiness you experience at work. Is it enough for you to stick around? Or pursue workplace happiness elsewhere?