Find a company that cares, you’ll likely be happy at work. Companies that care have a caring culture. Learn how to identify the right work culture for you.
Employees are forever asking what they can do to be happier at work. With this question typically comes the inevitable list of suggestions such as those offered by Jeff Stibel in his Harvard Business Reviewblog, “7 Ways to Be Happier at Work.” Stibel suggests things like smiling, stop worrying, and taking a break.
These are all commendable actions that place the responsibility for individual happiness on the employee, where it should be. However, if you work in a downright miserable environment, you may find it difficult to muster the happiness and energy required each day to implement Stibel’s recommendations.
Instead, the ideal situation would be to find a more positive work environment and one that meets your personal values and work goals. Then smiling would come as natural as breathing.
Identify What You Want in a Company
Five years ago, I wrote the article, “Employees Thrive When Employers CARE: Camaraderie, Achievement, Recognition, and Equity in the Workplace.” In it, I identified the four factors that make for a positive and caring work environment. The advice is still true today. Employees are happiest when they have good coworkers and growth opportunities, and receive recognition and fair compensation.
In fact, in a 2018 survey from Monster.com and Unum, respondents noted that they want to work for a company “that truly cares about the well-being of its employees.” Here’s how participants responded:
- 84% want challenging and fulfilling work
- 82% want job security
- 74% want an attractive benefits package
Additionally, contributing writers Gladys Stone and Fred Whelan suggest in their Monster.com article “Describe Your Ideal Work Environment” that “people are happiest and most productive when they work in an environment that suits them.”
Find the Company You Want
It goes without saying that the best way to be happy at work is to find a caring environment. However, the right work environment is different for every person.
While Stone and Whelan suggest several factors to consider when looking at potential work environments – size, structure, formality, and mission statement – the best way to view potential new employers is through the company culture.
A company’s culture is the personality of an organization. As with any relationship, you will enjoy it more if your personalities match; just like with a best friend and/or significant other. As Scott Ginsberg suggests in his article, “7 Interview Questions to Uncover Corporate Culture”:
You can’t work where you don’t feel comfortable. You can’t thrive where you don’t feel at home. And you can’t grow where you don’t feel welcome.
Ginsberg also offers some great insight into how to find out about an organization’s culture by asking the right interview questions. Or you might want to check out my article, “Five Questions to Ask in the Job Interview: Getting Information from the Recruiter at the End of an Interview.”
Ultimately, if you want to be happy at work, it means taking the time to interview prospective employers. It means matching your personality with the personality of the organization. It means finding an employer that cares.