It's always nice to find a job opportunity that comes with a significant pay increase, but salary isn't necessarily the most important factor for the average job seeker. Today, many professionals are evaluating less quantifiable metrics as well, such as work/life balance and employee satisfaction.
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If you really want to find a job you'll love, you should work on finding companies where the employees are genuinely happy. If you find a company where employees are happy from the second they show up in the morning to the moment they lay their head down at night, you'll likely be happy there as well.
The only problem is that such genuinely happy companies are few and far between. If you want to pick them out from the crowd, pay attention to the following signs:
1. Exceptional Customer Service
Zappos is consistently ranked as a best-in-class organization for its generous policies and personalized attention to detail. While it's possible for companies to put forth tightly controlled brand images, Zappos is able to offer such incredible customer service only because its employees truly believe in the company.
If you encounter a company with exceptional customer service, chances are the employees providing that service are highly satisfied behind the scenes.
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2. Remarkable Productivity
A 2015 study led by economists at the University of Warwick found that happy employees are 12 percent more productive than average, whereas unhappy employees are 10 percent less productive. This suggests you can roughly gauge the overall satisfaction within an organization by evaluating its productivity and performance against industry norms.
3. Employees Who Are Also Friends
Do employees genuinely like each other, or do they merely put up with each other until they can go home? While coworkers don't need to be best friends to be happy at work, it certainly helps when there's healthy camaraderie. It's much more likely that employees are happy in their positions if they enjoy hanging out with coworkers outside of work. This leads to stronger relationships and a greater sense of belonging.
4. Loose Workday Schedules
Many of us have worked in roles where we clocked in every day at 9 a.m. on the dot and left at 5 p.m. exactly. In these situations, employees are rarely happy – they're just biding time in order to get a paycheck.
The opposite is the case in companies where employees are genuinely happy. Instead of clocking in and out according to strict schedules, employees show up early and leave a few minutes late simply because they want to put the company first.
5. Hiring From Within
If an employee doesn't like working for an organization, they aren't going to apply for another position with the same company. Instead, they're going to look for opportunities elsewhere.
By contrast, if you find a company that does a lot of hiring from within, this is generally a good indication that employees enjoy their jobs and aren't interested in leaving for greener pastures. Frequently hiring from within also demonstrates that an employer values its employees and wants what is best for them.
6. Smiling Faces
Sometimes, gauging employee happiness is as simple as surveying the faces of the employees you meet. When you walk through the hallway, do people look agitated and bored, or do they smile and acknowledge you? The presence of smiling faces is a good sign that employees are satisfied in their roles.
You can study salary and compensation figures all you want, but if you want to find an employer that will make you happy, pay attention to the people already on the payroll. If they're genuinely happy, chances are you will be, too. Keep this in mind as you conduct your job search. Don't stop until you find the perfect fit!