According to Great Place to Work CEO, Michael C. Bush, only 40% of the approximately 3 billion workers in the world say they’re happy at work. This isn’t ideal for many reasons, but on the corporate side specifically, the benefits of establishing a workplace full of happy employees are inarguable.

When compared to unhappy counterparts, companies that keep their employees satisfied average:

  • 3x the revenue growth 
  • 50% less employee turnover 
  • 3X higher performance in the stock market 

How to Make Your Employees Happy 

While compensation is a major factor that we’ll look into more closely later in the article, you don’t have to be a giant company with a hefty budget to throw at daily catering, an on-site masseuse, or pet walking service to keep employees happy. So, what kind of leadership and structure creates profitable, sustainable businesses, regardless of size? Michael C. Bush boils it down to four major ideas:

1. Trust & Respect 

People who trust and respect each other make for effective teammates. To share a common commitment and learn well from each other takes a combination of chemistry (hiring the right people) and culture (encouraging the right habits).

Given the varied backgrounds and levels of experience that may come together within a company, trust and respect must be earned and reinforced regularly. The best companies create an environment and expectations that are consistent.

Businesses who employ people who are honest and follow through on their commitments earn the respect and trust of others. Everyone, from CEO’s to interns, should try to practice consistent behavior. Consistency allows everyone in the company to know what to expect from the job and from each other. This allows any employee to not only trust their colleagues, but to gain confidence that they are also trusted.

2. Fairness 

It’s no secret that discrimination and harassment are examples of bad behavior in the workplace (and in general). Companies can combat these and other unfair behaviors with training on how to recognize and prevent these behaviors.

At Fuel Cycle, our HR team hosts regular Diversity & Inclusion workshops, that serve to educate employees about the true meaning of diversity and empower them to take actions based on inclusivity and fairness.

Mission statements that preach recognition of all employee achievements can create inclusivity and respect. But even in smaller ways, such as by practicing active listening and including a more diverse array of functions and tenure in projects and conversations, can teams begin to implement fairness and inclusivity daily. 

3. Listening 

Colleagues can foster trust by listening to what others have to say. Management can set the example by reserving time in every meeting for team members to provide their ideas and input. Then the employees within that team can practice listening to each other and providing thoughtful feedback. Workshops that teach listening, collaboration, and feedback skills (such as through role play exercises) can help improve listening skills.

Managers might also want to consider soliciting input, even from employees who don’t volunteer their opinions. This can be handled in one-on-one or in meetings with the whole team present, as long as a respectful and judgement-free zone has been established. If the quiet employee’s input is accepted in a non-judgmental manner, it will establish greater trust and ease when seeking future input.

Fuel Cycle identifies its team members’ unique strengths and talents and finds ways to best utilize them on the job. We also have seen that pairing more experienced employees with newer workers in a mentoring relationship encourages greater participation, inclusion, and professional growth.

4. Willingness to Change 

Adaptability is a critical quality that employers seek in today’s employees. Wouldn’t it make sense that employees are looking for employers who are adaptable as well? With rapid changes in technology and society, both businesses and their employees need to be open to new ideas, capable of working through challenging issues, and flexible enough to reroute when things don’t go as planned.

Research from Johns Hopkins University illustrates the idea that the most resilient and adaptable teams succeed more often than those that are unwilling to change, even if the more rigid group has better talent.

The study examined expedition racing teams, which traverse wilderness courses on land and sea. They found that the most successful teams didn’t just weather extreme situations well, but they pivoted to meet the challenge head-on and even improved upon what they had been doing previously. Businesses are no different, and it’s important not only to preach agility and adaptability but to demonstrate a willingness to change through action.

Compensate Based on Trust, Respect, and Fairness 

Alright, let’s get into it. One crucial piece of the happiness puzzle that we haven’t yet discussed is compensation. Being paid fairly is critically important. It builds trust and loyalty for the employer and makes employees feel like valued contributors to the business.

Unfortunately, it’s often considered taboo to discuss salary data openly, which makes it difficult to know whether one is being compensated fairly. That’s why Comparably surveyed 10 million American workers at large companies (with more than 500 people) and small to midsized companies (with 500 people or fewer) to uncover companies pay their employees well.

Results were derived from sentiment ratings provided by employees who anonymously rated their employers on during a 12-month period (September 2019 through September 27, 2020). They were asked questions such as, “Do you believe you’re paid fairly?” and “How often do you get a raise?” There were no fees or costs associated with participating, nor was nomination required to qualify.

Employee experience research like not only this helps employees know whether they’re being paid fairly for the work they do, but it also grants businesses transparency into where they stand compared to others so they can make the necessary changes to remain competitive.

Compensation at Fuel Cycle 

Fuel Cycle is extremely proud to have been recognized by Comparably for “Best Compensation” in the small/midsized business category. Our leaders’ dedication to providing employees with great compensation packages stems from an initiative to provide equal opportunity to talented professionals who are passionate about technology and customers.

This goes beyond compensation and deep into a culture of equity and fairness. Every Fuel Cycle employee is regarded and compensated for their individual strengths and therefore encouraged to develop the skills that will be most useful to their continued personal growth-path.

Other Perks and Benefits at Fuel Cycle

In addition to compensation, Fuel Cycle was also recognized by Comparably for “Best Perks and Benefits.” In addition to offering competitive benefits and retirement plan packages to serve a diverse workforce, we prioritize internal initiatives dedicated to providing employees with perks and benefits as well.

Prior to a work remote culture, it was easy to offer fully stocked refrigerators, catered meals, team building events, and branded gifts to employees. But since working from home, we’ve had to be willing to change the way we support and celebrate our team.

Here are a few of the ways we engage employees today:

  • Survey the company regularly to ensure the well-being of every team member and to better understand how to support them in a virtual world
  • Send employees quarterly gifts in the mail (we once sent branded mugs and mini s’mores kits, which was fun for employees and their families)
  • Host bi-weekly trivia sessions, led by team members who are experts on the given topic
  • Provide paid virtual learning opportunities to ensure continued growth in lieu of in-person mentoring
  • Supply home office equipment and reimburse home office needs

In Sum

There are so many ways to keep employees happy. Finding what works for your budget, culture, and values is where the creativity comes in. There are a ton of resources out there to help Employee Experience managers discover and execute on new and effective ways to keep their teams happy and engaged.

“A company’s greatest asset is its people, and here at Fuel Cycle, the relationship with our team is a key priority every day. Good compensation, equal opportunity and providing fulfilling work is the basis for building that relationship.”

Eran Gilad, CEO at Fuel Cycle

For information about Fuel Cycle careers, visit: