Here Are North America’s Happiest Workers

When it comes to career happiness, creative professionals are coming out ahead, recent research shows.

According to a study of more than 12,000 U.S. and Canadian workers by global staffing firm Robert Half and Happiness Works, those in the creative and marketing occupations reported the highest levels of on-the-job satisfaction and interest in their work, compared to employees in the accounting and finance, administrative, legal, and technology fields.

In a separate survey, The Creative Group, a division of Robert Half, asked more than 400 U.S. advertising and marketing executives to describe their company culture in one word.

Many creative managers also seem satisfied with their work environment, as top responses trended positive:

Friendly, Diverse, Family, Innovative, Modern, Creative, Supportive, Collaborative, Dynamic, Progressive.

“Company culture is a key contributor to employee happiness and a top consideration for job seekers,” said Diane Domeyer, executive director of The Creative Group. “To attract and retain top talent, companies need to take a close look at what makes their corporate culture unique and enjoyable, and then promote it to potential employees.”

The Creative Group offers five tips for managers to foster an attractive, authentic company culture:

  • Add meaning to the job. The top driver of career satisfaction for creative professionals is doing worthwhile work, according to the Robert Half and Happiness Works study. Your team will be more engaged and enthusiastic if you assign them a variety of projects and make sure they understand how their contributions support your organization’s overall purpose.
  • Create a learning environment. Show employees you are invested in their long-term career growth. Let staff attend training during business hours or send them to industry conferences, and ask individuals to share what they learn with their colleagues.
  • Be flexible. Many professionals want the freedom to work when and where they want. Consider offering telecommuting or alternative scheduling options if you don’t already provide them.
  • Customize the workspace. Your physical environment can have a big impact on employees’ moods and productivity. Construct spaces to accommodate different needs, like open areas for collaboration and private stations where staff members can concentrate free of distractions.
  • Keep it real. Fun perks like free snacks are great, but they cannot compensate for significant issues — like a culture of mistrust or lack of transparency. Potential hires will know if you’re trying to woo them with cool perquisites to cover up problems.

In the end, though, most of us agree that some work just isn’t fun. If you’re in one of those jobs, maybe you should consider a career move?

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