Why Google Employees Are Happier Than Ever
Despite the nation's stubbornly high unemployment rate, many companies -- especially high-tech firms -- struggle to hang on to top talent, prompting many employers to develop new or novel ways to keep key staff happy.
To do that, many businesses have introduced or bolstered programs to improve the overall workplace experience, such as giving workers more say in the work they do, the ability to work remotely and expanded training, among other offerings.
Those strategies appears to be working for a number of American companies that have seen their employee-satisfaction scores rise during the last year, according to CareerBliss. The career site has released a list of 50 employers with most-improved worker-satisfaction scores, culled from more than 50,000 employee reviews posted on the CareerBliss site.
Topping this year's list is Google Inc., which saw its employee-satisfaction rating soar by more than a third -- 37 percent -- during the last year. CareerBliss says the jump in Google's score was the result of improved employee support and growth, a category that saw an 80 percent rise among Google workers.
Google employees reported improvements in the rewards they receive and the overall way in which they work, said CareerBliss CEO and co-founder Heidi Golledge.
"With the increase in Google stock price, the death benefits offered to a spouse or domestic partner, as well as the other array of benefits Google employees receive, the search-engine giant continues to lead the way in pioneering a happy work environment," Golledge told AOL Jobs.
Under Google's death benefit, should an employee die, the company would pay 50 percent of their salary to the spouse or partner for 10 years. The surviving spouse or partner also gets vested stock benefits, and children receive $1,000 a month until the age of 19, according to Mashable.
Google shares have risen sharply during the last year. From less than $500 a share a year ago, the stock has traded around $600 since mid-July, and ended Thursday trading at a yearly high of $675 a share -- not far off from its record high of $707 a share on Oct. 31, 2007.
The rise in reported happiness among Google employees is likely the byproduct of the company's efforts to keep talent from fleeing. In recent years, some employees became disenchanted with Google's business model and bolted for other Silicon Valley companies perceived as being more innovative, such as Facebook.
CareerBliss' ratings are taken from workers who rated their employers on 10 factors that affect workplace happiness, on a scale from 1 to 5 -- with 5 being the highest score. The data account for how employees value each factor as well as how important that factor is to employees' overall happiness.
Though Google's 4.31 overall "Bliss Score" was the most improved, it wasn't the highest. Check out the gallery below to find the employer with the best score among the Top 10 Bliss Leap Award Winners. (You can find the full list of 50 companies and their scores by clicking here.)
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David Schepp has spent more than a dozen years covering business news for the electronic and print media, including Dow Jones Newswires, BBC News, Gannett Co., and most recently at AOL's DailyFinance. Nearly 10 years ago, he started writing a weekly People@Work column, looking in depth at issues facing workers in today's workplace. The syndicated column appeared in newspapers and websites nationwide before it made its debut on DailyFinance in 2010. Schepp now continues that tradition at Aol Jobs, covering the jobs beat and providing readers insight and analysis into the nation's challenging employment scene.
Schepp holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Metropolitan State College of Denver.
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