It is a known fact that satisfied employees produce better work than those that are unhappy. They are also more engaged and committed to their employer. Thus, it is crucial that organizations understand what it is that produces satisfied employees, and what doesn’t.

Does a high salary and a competitive benefits package produce happy employees? It may shock some, but the answer is no. While it used to be that job seekers chose an employer based on what they paid and if they offered decent benefits, this has changed. So, what makes employees happy?

Leah Walters, head of communications at, asked 10,000 users just that. The results show that the new generation of employees is not looking primarily for monetary benefits in their jobs. In fact, from the list of traits that were provided, pay was rated last. Of course, individuals need money to survive. But it is not a strong force that pushes them to choose or stay with an organization.

So, what does make employees happy? Well, there are a few things that employees are looking for in their employer.

  1. Transparency

Individuals want to work for an organization that has open communication with their employees. They want to know what the company’s objectives, strategies, and challenges are.

By knowing this information, employees will feel that they are important to the company. They will also feel more comfortable with asking questions and sharing their ideas.

  1. Possibilities for growth

Most employees are hoping to develop within the organization and be promoted. They want to be able to transition to different positions. They do not want to feel as if they are stuck in the same position. Not having opportunities for progress may frustrate good employees. Some may choose to leave the organization for one that encourages and facilitates their growth.

Organizations can implement promotion from within programs to allow employees to gradually move up in the company. Additionally, cross training and mentorship programs can be incorporated to help employees expand their skills and prepare to work in different positions.

  1. Employee appreciation

Ensuring that employees know that their work is being noticed in a positive way is important. There are different ways of showing this. Product manager for software company, Shirley Baumer, created a program that allows employees to receive and send a thumbs up. This application is simple, but it has produced good results. It is important for employees to have ways to easily show their appreciation for superiors, subordinates, and coworkers.

No matter what route an organization takes to show employees that they are valued, they must ensure that it is a constant effort.

  1. Purpose-driven work

Employees enjoying doing work that they are passionate about and tend to choose to work for companies that allow them to do that. Letting employees take-on more advanced work that they feel is fulfilling will help them be more passionate about their work. Employees should feel comfortable with speaking to their managers about their goals. In this way, their managers can help steer them in the direction that they want to go and give them feedback on their work.

Organizations should find ways in which employees can give back to their communities and be involved in meaningful work.

  1. Organizing groups of employees and helping at local nonprofit organizations
  2. Being a part of a local charity event
  3. Work-life balance

It is important for today’s workers to have good quality of life in their professional lives and their personal lives. There are many different concepts that can be implemented in order to help employees achieve this balance.

  1. Opportunities to work remotely
  2. Flexible work schedules
  3. Tuition reimbursement
  4. On-site daycare

Employers must show their employees that they matter and are valued. They should identify what is not satisfying their employees and work to fix it. This is the only way that they can ensure that their employees are truly happy and producing above average work.

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