From the Editor: Happy Employees = More Successful Business
Got unhappy employees? Think the lousy job market will prevent them from leaving, so what does it matter? Well, it might be impacting your bottom line.
Earlier this year, research conducted by Kansas State University, which examined the relationship between employee well-being and profits, showed evidence that happy employees make for a successful business.
"The benefits of a psychologically well workforce are quite consequential to employers, especially so in our highly troubled economic environment," said Thomas Wright, Jon Wefald Leadership Chair in Business Administration and professor of management at Kansas State, in a press release announcing the research findings. "Simply put, psychologically well employees are better performers. Since higher employee performance is inextricably tied to an organization's bottom line, employee well-being can play a key role in establishing a competitive advantage."
Other research supports this claim as well. Each year, the Russell Investment Group tracks stocks for companies that rank on the Great Place to Work Institute's "Great Places to Work" list, and found that the 100 "Great Places to Work" "outperformed standard market indices by a factor of two to three," according to the Great Place to Work Institute.
On page 17 of this issue, you'll find the list of this year's "Best Magazine Publishing Companies to Work For," as ranked in a study conducted by Publishing Executive in cooperation with independent research company Best Companies Group. This is the third year we've conducted the study, which was designed to recognize those companies that go above and beyond to create positive work environments, as well as to provide benchmarks to help other companies in the industry improve their workplaces.
Benefits, such as bonuses, 401(k) matching, extensive paid time-off, on-site fitness facilities and classes, adoption assistance and domestic partner benefits, obviously can go a long way in creating a sense of appreciation among employees, and helping employees balance their work lives with their personal lives.
Here's an overview of which benefits are offered by this year's "Best Magazine Publishing Companies":
• Bonus or incentive program to all employees: 100%
• Telecommuting options: 63%
• Option to work compressed work weeks: 25%
• Pays all or part of employees' child-care costs: 13%
• On-site fitness facilities: 38%
• Adoption assistance: 38%
• Domestic partner benefits: 25%
But the key to employee happiness seems to be more contingent on whether or not employees feel valued by their supervisors and their companies, and part of that sense of value is created not only by recognizing employees for jobs well done, but also by including employees in decisions impacting the company or, at the very least, sharing company information with employees.
To give you an idea of the difference this can make, here are how companies that made the "Best Magazine Publishing Companies to Work For" list fared (in the eyes of their employees) compared to all companies that registered to be considered for the list. (Keep in mind that if a company completed the registration process and agreed to have their employees surveyed, they must believe that they have at least a decent work environment. The averages likely would be much lower among all companies in the industry, compared to just those who registered for this study.)
Average Among Average Among
All Companies 'Best Companies'
• This organization's corporate communications are frequent enough 76% 86%
• This organization's corporate communications are detailed enough 75% 88%
• I have a good understanding of how this organization is doing financially 74% 87%
• I can trust what this organization tells me
• This organization treats me like a person, not a number 89% 95%
• This organization gives enough recognition for work that is well done 73% 82%
• Staffing levels are adequate to provide quality products/services 63% 75%
It's a tough time, and the companies that made the list have gone the extra mile to create a positive, secure environment for their employees. And perhaps, as the research suggests, they will emerge from the recession better for it.