1. Company Culture
A culture that is positive, that is lived by everybody through out the whole organization. A culture that is lived by all the leaders in the organization. A culture where each individual is invited to remind the other what that culture looks like in behavior. A culture where the values are well defined and reflected in each individuals behavior. A positive environment where you feel empowered to perform at your best is a must have to finding Happiness at work. Every person is different, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. A great Company Culture is one that takes in account the freedom of each individual to be true to who they are.
If you prefer spending a bulk of your day working independently on analysis, a culture where meetings are not infrequent probably makes you happier. If you love talking to people and brainstorming, a more collaborative, team-based culture might be a better fit. When you’re a part of a work culture that’s best for you, you can be more productive and more fulfilled.
TIPS: Be mindful of this when you are looking for a new opportunity, dare to ask questions that will give you the answers you need to ensure your happiness at work.
2. Opportunities to make an impact
Most people want to be in a job where their work is meaningfull and they can make an impact. Some are attracted to larger organizations where there are several opportunities to make a broad impact across functions and geographies. Others prefer smaller or startup organizations where each person has an opportunity to quickly make a big impact. Whatever your preference, when you have opportunities to make your mark and show others your capabilities and strengths, you’ll find a niche where you can thrive, be happy, and feel motivated to do your best.
TIPS: Be sure to define for yourself what you understand by making an impact! Is the impact for you, so your work and output is noticed, is it a bigger contribution due to your expertise, is it a collective impact. This is something you should be clear on before joining any organization. It will increase you potential to be happy at work.
3. Relationship with your manager
The relationship you have with your manager is certainly one of the most important relationships you have at work that impacts your workplace happiness. In the best case your manager delivers performance expectations and feedback, and he or she can also be one of your biggest supporters. A manager that praises your work, your talents. A manager that is grateful for your contribution in the team. A manager who is “genuinely” interested in you to succeed will work with you to identify career-development and promotional opportunities. They will be happy to communicate clearly with you, make sure can feel free to also communicate openly. They can be a source of inspiration and ideas, helping you explore options for improving your engagement and overall job satisfaction.
TIPS: When applying for a job and you first see the recruiter alone, ask questions about the manager you are supposed to work for, how would they define them, character, expectations, communicator. What does the team say of the Manager? What is the turnover in the team? What is the greatest challenge they are facing now? Once you meet the Manager during the next interview, have a conversation, see/feel if the manager is open to have a conversation, or is more “dominating” in interview style “questions & answers”. Daring to ask questions, how they would handle a situation also a difficult situation will certainly give you some information on the manager, being able to understand and feel if it is someone you can trust and would like to work for.
4. Relationship with co-workers
We spend 90.000 hours at work during our lifetime! This is A LOT of time that you spend with your co-workers, it makes sense that daily interactions with them have an impact on overall happiness at work. Whether you enjoy catching up with co-workers to hear about their weekend or bonding with them over a favorite sports team, these relationships can help you feel like part of a team and more connected at work. It is also important that during the work, there is a sense of team, that you can rely on each other, that there is trust within the team, and you can have an open and honest communication.
TIPS: It is getting more and more usual that when you go for your interviews you will meet some of the co-workers who will join during the interview. Companies / managers who do that, are mindfull of the dynamic in the team and want to keep it as it is, increase it but certainly want to make sure everybody is aligned. There is your moment to engage in a conversation with the co-worker, ask questions like, what is the greatest thing about working in this team/company? Would you tell your friends to apply for this company? How would you describe your relationship with your manager?
5. Learning and development
A key to long-term career success & happiness is continuous learning and development. Whether you’re evaluating a new job opportunity or considering options in your current company, the degree to which you can gain new skills and have new experiences will greatly impact your job satisfaction. Career development doesn’t only come from training. Job rotations, stretch assignments, collaborating on projects, cross department collaboration, lateral moves can all be used in developing your skills and building self-confidence. In a mature company, the development part is well created and imbedded in the culture. Learning & development does have to be big things, it can be small steps like a workshop on how to improve your communication skills or on giving & receiving feedback. It is a great opportunity to meet up with other co-workers from the organization, form different departments. Not all companies are well organized with learning & developing their people, and this is important for their continuous growing, and involving with their staff. Developing your people is a great part of a company’s culture.
TIPS: while you are at your interview ask how their development process is? how can you further develop, soft skills, grow your expertise. Are their defined programs to inspire people to keep on their personal development? Is it encouraged to keep developing yourself (this means they are well aware that developing yourself takes time, do you get that time of your work even to follow a workshop inhouse or is it ONLY the manager that decides who & if you can follow a training) Make sure to ask all information so you will not be deceived once you have the job.
6. Benefits and perks
The perks a company will give depends often on the country, industry because some are benefits that fall into the compensation category, like a company car. Others are truly happiness-inducing. Flexible work hours support work-life balance and can help reduce stress and burnout. Perks like wellness programs, support for charitable work, and company social events can also positively impact your job satisfaction. Chances are your company offers some benefits or perks that will make you feel good about where you work.
Your compensation supports your livelihood and measures the value of the work you do, so it’s no wonder that compensation is extremely important to most people. Ideally, you should be in a position that compensates you fairly for your contributions, and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t strive to achieve that goal. If, however, during the current era of sluggish wage growth, you’re less than thrilled about your compensation, other elements of your work life can help you feel valued, fulfilled, and optimistic about the future.