What makes employees happy...

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What makes employees happy...


And why employers cannot ignore it

Hardly anyone, it may be supposed, jumps out of bed every morning, in a good mood and full of energy, scarcely able – for pleasurable excitement – to wait to go to work. On many days no doubt some of us would rather stay under the duvet and close our eyes at the thought of the tasks awaiting us. On other days many people do not feel physically fit or are just in a bad mood. Well, it happens, and it's OK. But basically and ideally employees ought to be from satisfied to happy with their work and their working environment. In the interests of their firm's success, too, for happy employees are more productive.   


Germans are pretty happy employees

The Wrike Happiness Index for 2019 studied what makes employees happy. For this purpose, 4,009 employees from companies with more than 200 workers in Germany (1,002), Great Britain, France and the USA were surveyed. And who would have expected it? According to this survey, an amazing 89 percent of the Germans questioned are happy employees. Less surprising: financial security is the most important happiness factor for German workers. Financial security is followed in the league table by the meaningful nature of their work, flexible working hours, the opportunity to work in a home office, the location of the workplace, and the corporate and management culture. According to the survey, though, the importance of salary gets less the more satisfied an employee is in his company overall. Only 18 percent of those who are very satisfied with their job want more money. Those who are already satisfied place greater value on company events, free lunch and amenities such as a firm's own fitness studio. Though it is not clear whether this could be because those who are very satisfied already earn enough. Or, to look at it the other way round, those who do not earn enough to cover their basic needs of course may have no great interest in company events and a fitness studio. According to the Happiness Index, the happiest employees are, by the way, those who regularly work in a home office. 


Being properly appreciated is more than just praise

A feeling of being properly appreciated, it has been shown, also contributes to happiness and satisfaction among workers: the DGB "Good Work" Index of 2018 has discovered that one third of German workers surveyed feel scarcely appreciated, or not appreciated at all, and that companies which make their employees feel appreciated benefit doubly, since showing people that they are appreciated both improves their health and encourages employee motivation. And, vice versa, anyone who does not feel appreciated generally reduces his work performance and in the medium term will be looking for a new employer. But it is precisely when personal initiative is required that proper appreciation is the biggest factor in success. For well-educated staff only feel committed if proper recognition is accorded to them for what they do. Genuine appreciation is actually more than just praise referring merely to a particular performance achieved. Appreciation, by contrast, demonstrates interest in the person as a whole.        


Good corporate culture often leads to better revenue

Germany's "Best Employers of 2019" are certainly doing something right in this regard. Organised by Great Place to work®, an international research and consultancy institute, awards went to a hundred companies; 680 took part. They were investigated to gauge how attractive they were to employees, and how the culture of their workplace was rated in a comparative assessment. Companies were evaluated in an anonymous survey by their own employees. This showed that among the award-winning companies good work was significantly better recognised than in the German average, career development was more strongly supported, management was rated as more skilled, health more often fostered, and employees had the feeling that everyone was pulling in the same direction. This means that in these companies their employees are much less frequently sick, staff fluctuation is lower, and the trend in sales revenues is more than twice as high as the German average. Accordingly, in the interests of corporate success, employers have a significant interest in ensuring that their employees like doing their jobs and enjoy a feeling of wellbeing in the company.       


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by Martina Tangara


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