written by: N Nayab•edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 3/3/2011
A survey by the Conference Board Research group indicates that only 45 percent of all Americans are happy at their workplace. Competitive pressures and the adverse economic climate all take its toll on happiness at work. In this context, the top 10 happy places to work at assumes critical importance
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The Top 10 List
CareerBliss.com recently surveyed the top 25 happy places to work at. The basis of the survey was independent reviews that evaluated companies on benefits, opportunities for career advancement, compensation, growth opportunities, job security, whether the employee would recommend the company to others, senior management, and work-life balance.
The overall top 10 list of happy places to work at, based on the survey are:
Army National Guard
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An interesting feature of this survey is the National Guard, Marines, and Navy making it on the top 10 list, and the US Army figuring at number 11, beating out corporate popularly associated as good employers. Disney, for instance which prides itself as the “happiest place on earth" does not make it to this top 10 list, and comes way behind, ranked 41.
A review of the independent rankings the organizations earned for different traits surveyed, sheds more light on why such organizations become happy places to work.
Benefits: The survey participants consider the US Air Force as the best company to work for in terms of benefits, followed by 3M. The US Navy and Marine Crops follow close behind in the fourth and fifth position. The third position incidentally goes to Ameritech, which does not figure in the overall top 10 list.
Career Advancement: The survey indicates that the Army National Guard provides the best career advancement opportunity, beating all corporate organizations. Google comes second, followed by the Navy and the Marine Corps in the third and fourth position.
Compensation: Corporate businesses remain the best paymasters. Google tops the list, and none of the four branches of the US military made it to the top 10 paymasters list.
Growth Opportunity: Employees perceive the United States Marine Corps as the organization with the best growth opportunity. The Air Force, the Navy and the National Guard also figure in the top 10 list for this segment. Among corporates, AMB AMRO leads the pack, at second place, just beyond the Marine Corps.
Job Security: The United States Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and the Army National Guard take the top four positions in job security. Among corporate businesses, DTE Energy provides the best job security.
Recommended to Others: Google and 3M are the companies that most people recommend to others, but all four branches of the US Military also figure in the top 10 list.
Senior Management: In senior management capabilities, corporate businesses dominate, with DTE Energy and Google leading the pack. The Air Force and United States Navy rank 8 and 10, respectively.
Work / Life Balance: Corporate businesses have a clear lead in the work life balance compared to the armed forces, noted for their long engagement hours. The survey reveals 3M as offering the best work life balance, followed by Google and AMB Amro. None of the armed forces branches made the top 10 cut in work life balance,
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The results of the CareerBliss survey indicates compensation is not the largest factor when considering top places to work. Opportunities to grow, tools to improve skills, job security, and benefits create a happier work environment. The military provides an opportunity for employees to make a significant impact, have true camaraderie with co-workers, and develop skills, all sources for employee happiness. Most of the businesses surveyed failed to provide their employees with such facilities.
The survey findings of the happy places to work at is, however, by no means conclusive evidence. The survey is the result of subjective opinion among the respondents, and need not reflect the position of the majority. Moreover, only companies that received more than 25 reviews were included in the survey.
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CareerBliss. “25 Most Happy Places to Work." http://www.careerbliss.com/press-releases/25-most-happy-places-to-work. retrieved 01 March 2011.
Christian Science Monitor. “US military beats out Disney as happy place to work." http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Latest-News-Wires/2010/1025/US-military-beats-out-Disney-as-happy-place-to-work. Retrieved 01 March 2011.
CBSNews. “Survey. More Americans Unhappy at Work." http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/01/05/national/main6056611.shtml. Retrieved 01 March 2011.
Fortune. “100 Best Companies to Work For." http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/bestcompanies/2011/full_list/index.html. Retrieved 01 March 2011.