Top 16 Signs of a Happy Place to Work

Work doesn’t have to be a miserable place to go. There are plenty of people out there that love their jobs and work for employers that seem to return that love in some way or another. There are certain things you can look for, when job hunting for the happiest jobs around, that will let you know if the place you’re looking to work at is a happy place to work.

1. They Reward You for a Job Well Done

One sign of a great place to work is that they reward employees that do a good job. Nothing is more discouraging on the job than doing something you think is amazing and then not getting any recognition for the good work you’ve done – it’s like no one even noticed. Employees are more likely to go beyond the normal expectations if they get recognized for their efforts.

Rewards don’t have to be a plaque on the wall, just something that lets you know your accomplishments are noticed and lets other employees know that you’re doing what you can to pull your weight.

2. They Give You a Sense of Purpose

If the job seems like something that would make you proud to work there and you’d be doing something that makes you feel needed, like you have a purpose, you can bet it’ll be a happy place to work. Most people love feeling as though they have a purpose in life that’s more than just punching the clock every day.

You don’t even have to be doing a job that helps others – you just need to feel like you’re at least doing something to help the business succeed. It’s a good feeling knowing you are doing something purposeful.

3. They Give You a Sense of Belonging

When you punch the clock at work each day, you want to feel like you belong there. You don’t want to feel like you’re the one always being left out of things. You definitely don’t want to feel fear anytime you go to work – for any reason.

Look to see if the people that work there seem to get along. When you interview, does the manager speak highly of employees, or do they seem to bad mouth people that work for them? This is a huge clue as to whether or not it’s a happy place to work.

4. Other Workers Seem Happy on the Job

How do the people working there seem when you come in? Are they smiling and looking like they’re enjoying the job, or are they all looking miserable. Is there happy chatter in the breakroom when you go on the tour of the business, or are people completely silent or seem to be complaining?

You can tell if someone is happy, or at least content at their job. There’s a different attitude they give off than the one they will if they’re unhappy.

5. The Business Has Positive Values

Look at the business’s history and what they stand for. What are their core values? Why do they exist? Who have they helped?

Working for a business that does positive things for the community, even if it’s just a once a year donation to a local charity, can feel good.

6. There Is a Ladder Available to Climb

If you take a job that has no potential for advancement, that stagnation will get boring (and maybe even frustrating) after a time. When you’re in your interview, ask about what kind of advancements are available to you from the position you’re beginning in. It’s likely that if they have a ladder to climb, they’ll be more likely to hire the job candidates that actually want to climb.

7. They Treat You Like a Commodity

A happy job is a place where you feel like an important part of the team. You’re a commodity and an asset. You feel like your being there is important and that maybe it would take them awhile to replace you if you were to ever leave.

This is something that you might not be able to experience until you actually work there, but you can ask other employees if they feel like they’re treating as an important part of the team.

8. They Train You Well

Find out how much training they offer. Even if you have years of experience in the field you’re being hired into, most businesses like to do things their own way – you want to make sure they’re planning on teaching you how to do it their way. A lack of training can make work stressful.

9. They Have Company Parties

The happiest jobs are the ones that bring employees together. You should look for a job at a place that has holiday parties and celebrates their employees. If a company has parties, then you know they care about allowing their employees to have some fun once in a while.

10. The Breakroom Makes You Want to Work There

If you’ve ever strolled past a Costco breakroom on the way to the public restroom, you may have noticed recliners in there with comfortable employees snacking and watching TV. This is what you want from a job. Happy employees get relaxing breaks that let them get back to work refreshed – you don’t get that from a loud breakroom with barely any space to even eat.

11. They Offer Wellness Care (Not Just Medical Insurance)

Insurance is important is an important work asset, especially if you have a family. Since you’re required to have medical insurance, you may as well have a job that gives it to you. But you also want something more.

Many businesses now offer wellness “insurance” to their employees. This can include gym memberships, free therapy sessions, and even life coaching.

12. There Is Open Communication on All Levels

Communication is important in all relationships – even in work relationships. You want to make sure that your future boss has an open door policy, so you know you can go to them with anything you need. You also want to be comfortable being able to talk to the people you work for and with.

You want to make sure that you’re going to be working with peers you can communicate with. You don’t need to be buddies and be able to chat about things that aren’t work-related, but you do want to feel at ease discussing work topics while you’re on the job.

13. They Allow Flexibility In Scheduling

It’s hard to be happy at work if you never get any vacation time, have to fight to get a sick day, and you don’t get to have your hours work around your child’s school sports or other important life events. The happiest jobs ensure that their employees can get the time they need away from work to enjoy life – and not feel like all they ever do is work.

There are jobs out there where the employers offer “mental health days.” These places know that work can be stressful, even when you love your job, so they allow their employees to have a few days a month or year off for stress relief purposes.

14. There Is No Bias

You don’t want to work someplace where there is any kind of bias. Everyone that does the equal types of work should be treated equally. Look for equal pay among races and sexes. Equality in the workplace makes for a happy place to go each day, for everyone involved.

Your religion, sexual preferences, and sex shouldn’t have anything to do with the workplace. While age does matter when it comes to minimum ages at which people are allowed to work (let’s not condone child labor), it should matter if you’re much older if you can still do the job at hand.

15. It’s Like a Workplace, Not Like a High School

There are three things that do not belong in the workplace – they are gossip, cliques, and teacher’s pet. These are things that should be left in high school. Don’t be afraid to ask if certain employees get favored – if the manager feels offended it’s probably because this sort of behavior is going on in the business.

Listen when you see the breakroom – this is one of the main places you’ll hear gossip if there’s gossip going on. Pay attention to how the people that are working are interacting with one another – if people seem to crowd together leaving out certain individuals here and there, it could mean that the employees have formed high school-like cliques, which spells workplace disaster.

16. Low Turnover Rates

Happy places to work have happy employees – happy employees love their jobs, and they stick around. You don’t have to do too much to figure out if a place has a low turnover rate, just consider how often you’ve seen them advertising open positions. If you know the place is hard to get into because they never have openings, it’s a sure sign that they have low turnover rates with their employees.

Businesses that have swinging doors are not going to be happy places to work – there’s a reason why nobody wants to continue in their employ.

How to Find Out If the Place You’re Applying to Is a Happy Place

Before you apply for a job you can do a few things to get a feel for the place. There are questions you can ask during the interview process. There are even things you can before accepting the position that will help you determine if you’ll be happy there.

1. Do Some Online (and Offline) Research

It starts with doing a little research on the place – look them up online, check their social media accounts, and find out if you know anyone that works there already. Ask some questions of the current or former employees you know (why’d they leave, why are they still there).

2. Ask Questions and Be Present at the Interview

Once you have an interview you can ask all the questions you can think of. The more things you ask, the more the employer will see that you’re actually interested in the job and the company. Be aware of what’s going on in the business when they manager takes you on a tour – you may be able to see if it’s a happy place or not just by paying attention.

3. Request a Job Shadow

You can also request a day or two of job shadowing. This will be unpaid, but it allows you to get a feel for the job and the company, as well as the other employees. You’ll “shadow” an employee on their shift, so you’ll get a genuine feel of what it’s like to work there.

Even Happy Jobs Have Down Days

You can’t expect to be happy every single day you go into work, but you want to work someplace that makes you happy at least most of the time. When it comes to the happiest jobs, you want to look for a place to work that gives you back just as much as you put in. If you feel like you’re appreciated, you’ll be happier.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This