I once read an article that said people who work for small business are the world’s happiest employees. I’m sure this centers mostly around their ability to promote company culture.
If you’ve never worked for a small company, I can only offer you my opinion which comes with over five years of experience working for a small organization that specializes in managed SharePoint, Fpweb.net.
There’s a huge difference in just being content with your job and actually being happy about it, and my experience will confirm that, if done right, company culture can make a huge difference on your job satisfaction and overall happiness.
Yes, making me a believer was a careful balance of my employer making me feel like I was more than just a number and also seeing that my accomplishments help make a big difference for the overall business. We’re all part of the engine that keeps the company running, and that sense of purpose definitely has an affect on my contentment.
How to make your employees happy:
It starts with all of the great benefits that are possible with a a smaller company (not that larger companies can’t do them as well – it would just be much more expensive and therefore less accessible). These include flexibility, rapid advancement opportunities, ability to express your creativity, and the chance to learn different aspects of the business. Primarily, you get the feeling that your efforts are really contributing to something.
And while those traits are all terrific, there is one very clear reason that employees at Fpweb.net remain happy, creative workers: ROWE. That four-letter word may be foreign to some, but a Results Only Work Environment is no new thing.
What it means to work in a Results Only Work Environment:
- You are rewarded for your work, not your time.
- Flexible hours: Not a morning person? Come in later!
- Need a day off to avoid burnout? Take it!
- No micromanaging here. It’s your work, you are the expert – own it!
- Snowed in? Plumber coming? Little Johnny not feeling well? No problem, just work from home!
Even though there are times when the hours can be demanding, you still have a sense that the boundaries created between your job and personal life can be met. This has proven more than beneficial for me and my family.
What does being happy have to do with your work?
You may ask yourself, what difference does it make if you’re happy with where your work? It’s just a job, and your happiness does not affect my bottom line!
Well, clearly it makes a huge difference. A happy employee makes for a more creative, productive and performance-driven employee. I’m sure that there are different reasons that people pursue positions or find themselves drawn to a certain job. The top reason, I am most certain is the money. Often though, these people learn the hard way that a higher salary does not a happy employee make. You don’t need a Disney film to remind you that spending all your time working and away from your family does not end well.
Nowadays, employees are leaving their previously sought-after positions once they realize that a higher salary is not always the answer to job satisfaction. Even though a hefty paycheck is very appealing, having the best of both worlds should give an employee a reason to smile. I am very fortunate to be in an environment where management places an importance on company culture and understands that it does impact the bottom line. And, in turn, it has made me a happy employee.
Eleanor Roosevelt said that “Happiness is not a goal: it is a by-product.”
This is true at work and at home. After all, being at work can be similar to being at home when you work at a smaller company. Just like at home, I have to put my dirty dishes in the dishwasher and then try to figure out how I let someone beat me to the last can of Diet Mountain Dew. Those two things aside, it really feels good knowing that I am in a place “where everybody knows my name.” For this, I am happy!