One day, I asked my friend, who has been employed with an IT firm based out of Bangalore for the last five years that what is so good about his company? He answered that it is the food! I asked, “Did I hear you say food?” and he joyfully explained that his company has catering tie up with Taj hotels and they offer all three meals buffet at subsidized rates. Apparently, this wonderful company has a huge cafeteria with a lot of options in eatables. A full time catering staff to tend you your desired coffee and assorted salads and what not! I smirked and told my friend “that explains your overtly good health!”On my way back I thought to myself – what a way to motivate your employees. You serve their palate and they would spend the entire part of the day from breakfast to dinner – working for you!
But it also made me thinking that what really makes a company so great to work for? Why it is that people would die for a job at Google or Facebook? What constitutes the X-factor in an employer?
No company is perfect and will be able to offer you everything. But there is a specific index of satisfaction and feel good emotion while going to work which is driven by work culture, employer – employee trust, management’s credibility and due consideration of each other’s needs and goals.
Our workplace is like our second home; the place other than home where we spent most of the time. Good employers understand this emotion and therefore take care of you, your career growth and aspirations, your achievements, your personal situations. They have a way of winning hearts and you feel like giving your best. So there is a mutual affair that exists between you and your employer.
As simple as it sounds, you will still find lot of your friends dissatisfied with their jobs. No doubt, human resources today have advanced a lot. Companies take efforts to keep their people happy and satisfied. But their efforts do not always show the desired results.
So let’s face it, no company can ensure job satisfaction to 100% of its employees and there will always be things to crib about. Even the ones with the most satisfying careers look forward to the weekends.
Much have been researched, written and published about the employee happiness index across the world. Out of all the reasons given by different workforce, I shortlist the following, which according to me make a workplace really happening (I would be happy to spend my life working for such organization):
- Communication: An office culture where people talk to each other, both professionally and personally with equal comfort is a winner. It gives you a sense of ease and prevents you from over stressing.
- Transparency and independence: The management treats you like grown-ups, shares information with its employees, listens to them and considers them responsible and mature enough to manage their own time and work. This gives you ample space, a sense of freedom and pride. By working at such a place you end up feeling more responsible and complete.
- Work-Life balance: It is super relaxing to have an employer who understands that their people have life outside work, which might sometime take over their time and attention. They respect and believe that offering some work-life balance will earn them commitment and loyalty from their employees.
- Fair and impartial treatment: It is a real deal to work for a company that treats you fairly, compensates you justly and rewards you without any discrimination. It gives you an opportunity of self appraisal, lets you have an insight in your work, lets you see your areas of improvement and encourages you to overcome your weaknesses. Lay-offs are a last resort and benefits are well covering your needs. Yes, such place to work is a dream for most of us. It gives you a sense of security and you can proudly say…your job has got your back!
- Work hard and play harder: They believe that fun, frolic, humor and relaxation are the allies of hard work. There is enough emphasis on extra-curricular activities and helping you explore your hobbies to keep you engaged. Every April fool’s Day, Googlers for instance are permitted to plan and implement some major gags and tricks to the world. Google is known to conduct activities, games, workshops etc to promote self learning, team building and other qualities while having fun at the same time.
- Innovation: Twitter conducts its team meeting on the roof. Meeting rooms at Google Dublin resemble a pub. Reebok converted one of their warehouses into a CrossFit workout center exclusively for their employees. Participants collectively lost over 4000 pounds during 2011. These companies promote unique and out-of-the-box ways of engaging their employees and boost productivity. Having themed office days, team photos, exotic offsite visits; these and many other ways are there that can make you love your company.
- You can stretch your brains and use your skills: It will be a dead place to work at where there are no challenges to overcome. After all, human beings are wired for that. We would love to have a job, where we figure things out, solve problems, make breakthroughs or create a difference. Nothing is more satisfying than claiming ownership of great achievement. Hence this is an exciting aspect.
- Altruistic work culture: A place of work that promotes friendship among employees over competition. Everyone takes charge and is ready to help each other in times of crisis and crunch – big designation or small – all alike. Manager takes up the task of execution if needed. There is a common goal more important than a personal one. Now that’s where you will not get hypertension or stress induced diabetes, because you have people to look up to.
So here you go! A couple of markers to make you ponder over your happiness index in your current organization and more importantly think if anybody care about that happiness index of yours. Some of us do not have a choice and we have to stick to our occupation before we find that right place for us. But for those who have it, I would say, hang on to it. Because it is easy to desire but hard to find; simple to demand, but difficult to build – a company that makes it employees call it the most exciting place to work for!
Contributed By : Isha Jajodia, Class of 2010,IBS Gurgaon