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Focus on these 6 key areas to keep your employees happy

22 Aug 2019

New research from BetterUp reveals the key areas to focus on if improving the employee experience is on your list of priorities.

Any company seeking to attract and retain great employees knows that investing in their quality of life is crucial.

Engagement has traditionally been seen as the predominant factor here, but BetterUp’s latest employee experience index, based on 17,000 workers across 18 different industries, has unveiled five other areas that are just as important:

  1. Authenticity
  2. Engagement
  3. Optimism
  4. Purpose and meaning
  5. Social connection
  6. Belonging

The study shows that people want to work for a company where they can bring their full selves to the job and still continue to grow, and where they can connect genuinely with work that they value.

The benefits of a happy workplace are mutual. When companies enhance their employee experience, businesses directly benefit in the form of increased productivity, reduced staff turnover and higher job satisfaction.

But dedicating their work hours to something aligned with their values isn’t a new phenomenon, by any means, as previous research from the employee coaching platform shows. When asked about their priorities, surveyed workers said that they would sacrifice 23pc of future earnings, an average of $21,000 a year, for work that is consistently meaningful.

Work environment

The survey also showed that newer, technology-driven industries are leading the way when it comes to employee experience, with those working in retail 2.4 times less likely to feel positively about their job than those in industries such as IT.

Keeping work environments fresh is important too, with the index showing 36pc of employees who work both remotely and in a shared office reporting greater satisfaction compared to those who work in just one or the other.

Remote workers, for example, can struggle with work-life balance and stress, which can counteract the benefits of working from home, such as schedule flexibility. Those who can choose how they interact with colleagues seem to be reaping the benefits of remote work while also interacting with others and building social connections in person when needed.

Engagement alone simply doesn’t cut it for enhancing employee experiences, as the study demonstrates. Instead, companies should note that workers who have rich, positive experiences in their jobs bring their best and most authentic selves to work every day, approach challenges with an optimistic, growth-oriented mindset, build deep connections with colleagues, and feel and foster workplace belonging for both themselves and others.

Understanding what matters to your employees is critical if you want them to be happy in your company. Keep the six areas highlighted above in mind when taking those steps towards greater staff satisfaction.

Update: 8.50am, 23 August 2019: A previous version of this article described BetterUp as a global freelancing platform – it is an employee mobile coaching platform. 

Lisa Ardill
By Lisa Ardill

Lisa Ardill joined Silicon Republic as senior careers reporter in July 2019. She has a BA in neuroscience and a master’s degree in science communication. She is also a semi-published poet and a big fan of doggos. Lisa briefly served as Careers Editor at Silicon Republic before leaving the company in June 2021.

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