It is not coincidental that stock prices tend to rise more rapidly in “Fortune’s 100 best companies to work for” compared to other companies on average. Happy, engaged, balanced employees bring more energy, effort, and creativity to work and benefit your bottom line. There are endless articles and strategies about work-life balance but employers need to also remember that work and life can overlap and happiness in one effects happiness (and performance) in the other.

A recent Gallup poll found that only 30 percent of employees reported being happy at work so that means a lot of managers either are not paying enough attention to employee happiness or they just don’t know ways to improve employee experiences:

Listen and adapt.

An employer seeking to improve employee happiness might assume that this requires increasing pay, but there are many factors that contribute to employee well-being. Consider flexible hours, more rewards, vacation time, work from home options, health and childcare benefits, and employee retreats. This infographic shows many options and examples to consider.

Give meaning and independence.

Employees that find meaning and feel valued at work are more motivated and productive. Allow employees to be part of creating the big picture. People are more motivated to follow through on their own ideas so contributing to the company vision encourages each employee to put their best skills forward toward building the same goal. Along the same lines of empower employees, consider allowing employees more room and independence to develop their own projects. Google famously allows employees dedicated time for personal creative projects.

Recognize hard work.

Just acknowledging hard work and creating an atmosphere where managers and employees build each other up, makes employees happier and valued. Give employees opportunities to reward and recognize each other. Some companies do these with “appreciation boards” that coworkers can give a shout out on to recognize a peer. Think beyond standard annual reward ceremonies and look at individual employees and show you appreciate a unique individual achievement. “Nothing we do is more important than the people we hire. At the end of the day, you bet on people, not strategies” – Lawrence Bossidy


A global study found that happy employees are 20 percent more productive than their counterparts and happy salespeople contribute to 37 percent more sales. Employees who feel they are heard, find meaning in their work, and are recognized for their achievements benefit the company as a whole.