Of 3,418 Australian workers surveyed by the Mental Health Coalition of South Australia last year, 75% said they got along with their colleagues. 81% responded that they liked their job and 29% said they ‘loved’ it.
I view this as very positive. We spend so much time at work that if we don’t like our jobs or our colleagues, it means we’re unhappy for a lot of waking hours! Click here to view the survey.
To summarise, the biggest indicators of workplace happiness were:
1) A Likeable Workplace
2) Feeling Valued at Work
3) Having an Enjoyable Job
The biggest indicators of workplace unhappiness were
1) Inadequate Workplace Training
2) Having a Job That was not Enjoyable
3) Not Feeling Valued
What creates a Likeable Workplace?
Likeable workplaces will have a culture where people greet one another in the morning and interact in a friendly way whilst undertaking tasks. Does this occur in your workplace? Do your employees enjoy themselves whilst they get the job done? Is there genuine interaction and sharing of ideas between team members and management? Is there a culture of respect in the way people speak and engage with each other at all levels? Here is some food for thought if the answers to these questions is, ‘no’ or ‘sometimes’.
Knowing what drives your employees is an important factor to creating an enjoyable workplace. What do your employees value? Consider compiling a survey then act on the results. Are employees rewarded throughout the year when they go the extra mile with something small like movie tickets, a bottle of wine or a gift card? As an employee, I feel valued when I receive these unexpected Thank You gifts.
If an organisation is big enough, it may also have the capacity to provide enticements such as on-site childcare or paid public transport. Medium sized businesses could consider free health assessments, lunchtime yoga, Friday afternoon pizzas and drinks. Ask your team what would entice and motivate them to make their workplace more enjoyable.
A likeable workplace will also offer support to employees support when they need it, for example when an elderly parent is ill, during a pregnancy, a divorce, a death in the family, or for mental health issues. Having a manager who recognised the difficulty of travelling to work with my leg in plaster and therefore suggested I work from home, made me feel valued as an employee. I was also extremely appreciative of the support I received from colleagues and managers alike when my mother died unexpectedly. Displays of empathy and support have a powerful impact on us.
In line with the survey, other factors that contribute to a likeable workplace are when employees:
- Feel their opinions are heard;
- Receive adequate training/ resources;
- Feel their remuneration is appropriate
The opportunity for employees to provide feedback to managers is hugely important to them feeling valued at work. Is employee feedback actively sought, heard and acted upon so they feel they’re part of your organisation? Do they receive regular training to ensure they have the skills to undertake their responsibilities? Is their software regularly reviewed to enable them to complete tasks in the simplest, most time efficient manner? Are pay rates in line with market conditions?
A likeable workplace is something that employees at every level in an organisation can contribute towards. It will result in a more harmonious, cohesive workforce, better retention and increased productivity.