A recent article in The Economist analyzes the link between employee happiness and business success; something that has long been considered in evaluating your current work situation. It got me thinking, “what makes employees happy?”
While the saying, “Money can’t buy happiness,” is true, having a high paying job can certainly help, it isn’t the only factor influencing happiness at work. As a matter of fact, according to Glassdoor, compensation is one of the least important factors in regards to workplace happiness.
If you are evaluating your happiness at work and trying to determine whether or not you need to make a career move, consider these factors from our friends at TopResume that can keep you satisfied at work, but may be taking for granted.
An underappreciated factor that has a huge influence on potential workplace satisfaction is the company culture. A positive work environment is one that supports and empowers you to perform at your best, but may also be one of the most overlooked components of your job satisfaction. We all need the occasional change of scenery, but it is important to remember that the grass is not always greener on the other side, especially when it comes to company culture.
You need to figure out what you value in company culture and pursue opportunities that align with these values. If you have experienced a few different cultures, you can probably determine what work environment you prefer and work best in. However, if you’re an early career professional and unsure of what environment you would thrive in, you can take a personality assessment such as the DiSC Profile.
Making an Impact
Millennials get a lot of flack for wanting to do impactful work, but why is that a bad thing? We all have slow days at work, regardless of your job, but if you are bored day in and day out you likely aren’t satisfied at work and will become unhappy. Being engaged at work will lead to job satisfaction and if that engagement is meaningful, that is the ideal situation.
When you have opportunities to make meaningful contributions to the company, regardless of company size, you will be motivated and thrive in the role.
Relationship with your Manager
Different people operate best under different management styles, so similar to company culture, figuring out how you work best is important. Since you will be working with your manager on a daily basis, having a good relationship with him or her is very important, not only for workplace happiness but your career development.
A manager that cares about your career development is something that is not replicated at every job opportunity. If you have a good relationship with your manager, it will be easier to achieve workplace happiness. If your relationship isn’t the best, but cordial enough for the workplace, chances are your growth opportunities will be limited and so too will your happiness.
Relationship with Coworkers
It is no secret that we spend the majority of our lives at work, so enjoying the people around you is important. Similar to life outside of the office, you aren’t going to get along with everyone, but maintaining a professional relationship with them will make coming to the office each day a little easier.
The best-case scenario is obviously if you at least enjoy and have a good relationship with the people around you at the office. Your work friends don’t need to be your best friends, but having a sense of camaraderie at the office will do wonders for your psyche.
Learning and Development
Albert Einstein said, “Once you stop learning, you start dying,” and the same holds true for your happiness at work. When you’re bored and unfulfilled at your job you may fall into a funk, which will lead to unhappiness both at work and in your personal life. As Melanie Haniph states, “one of the keys to long-term career success is continuous learning and development.” When you’re constantly learning new things at work, you become more marketable to your supervisors which could lead to advanced career opportunities. Being able to continuously learn and develop will greatly impact your job satisfaction.
If you’re starting to feel unhappy at work, it may be time to take a step back and try to find the source of your unhappiness. Is it with your pay or another factor? Once you identify what is causing these feelings you can change your approach in order to regain that happiness at work.